China, Philippines argue over planned oil search


MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines said Wednesday it has the right to invite foreign companies to explore for oil and gas in waters located between its western coast and the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), dismissing China’s claim to the area in a fresh spat between the Asian neighbors.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario

The verbal tussle erupted after Energy Secretary Jose Almendras told reporters in Manila this week that the Philippine government has invited major foreign oil companies to invest in fuel exploration in two offshore areas northwest of Palawan province that fall within the country’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in Beijing Tuesday that the offshore areas are China’s.

“It is illegal for any country, government or company, without the Chinese government’s permission, to develop oil and natural gas in waters under Chinese jurisdiction,” Hong said when asked to comment on the Philippine plan.

Rejecting China’s position, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a brief statement Wednesday that the offshore areas being opened to foreign investors “are well within our sovereignty” based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Philippine officials separately accused China last year of repeatedly intruding into its territorial waters, and at least once trying to disrupt a Philippine oil exploration in another offshore area called the Reed Bank, also off Palawan.

Palawan province, about 820 kilometers southwest of Manila, faces the West Philippine Sea. The sea, which surrounds potentially oil- and gas-rich islands and reefs, is claimed entirely by China, but the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have made competing claims.

The Philippines has invited companies to explore for oil and gas in 15 areas nationwide, including in the offshore areas lying 79 kilometers and 123 kilometers from Palawan.

Almendras said Monday the Philippine government would start awarding exploration contracts to investors next month. He did not say whether the first batch of permits will cover the two areas also being claimed by China.

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  • KraziFairy45

    Military Modernization is needed,and should be fast..and with transfer of technology.
    I really wonder bakit hindi tayo kumukuha sa South Korea at Israel. Bakit doon sa mga
    bansang puro equipment lng benebenta hindi sinasali ang trasfer of technology.
    Vietnam and Indonesia bought their equipments on South Korea , tingnan nyo sila,
    marunong nang gumawa ng sariling warship at submarine.

  • J

    Can’t help it. China have to feed more than a billion mouths and they would do anything except for being fair and square, to claim the area. Watch their body language against of what they say.

    Does our AFP-Marines has expansion or recruiting? Well if you have nothing on hand as yet DO IT NOW before we are caught again with our pants down and all becomes too late.
    I want to apply!

  • Ben

    We will not be cowed, what is ours is ours, what is 200 mile EEZ of ours is ours. You may be basing history to claim even our EEZ, but history will not hold water in claiming our territory. If all countries claim a piece of territory based on history alone…..

     …..then you should claim the Philippines too since the time of the Chinese uprising in Cavite during Spanish rule your emperor considered the Philippines as their subject and must be punished but the Sdpanish prove a hardy ones too, then the Philippines should claim Guam from the US since the Spanish used to own it, Malaysia should claim the Philippines based on migration of Malays into the islands and so on and so forth…

    Bottom line is, the UNCLOS really defined our 200 EEZ from the continnetal shelf area and we will never be cowed by you on when and how we will develop that area..

  • Hikot Global Online

    People Keep calm but with high leaps for preparation. We don’t need to answer china’s dream and hallucination. 

    It’s china’s tactics, don’t be fall on it. its just a strategy how to bully a small country but do not be affected. ignore china and keep moving forward.

    China warned Vietnam to learn how to respect their territory, they harassed Vietnamese seeking shelter from the Storm in Paracel “Vietnam’s claimed island”  and they don’t know how to respect Philippines territory simply to say the pronounce “They own everything they ever wanted”

    Why they don’t start the respect from themselves for them to be respected? Ignore china; they are just lack of care.. nobody cares for them… Let’s Welcome USA who promotes democracy.. that’s it.

    For the people who are commenting why we will invite foreign investor to drill our oils in the West Philippines Sea, then you must have to know that It is against our law to compete with private investors. So the Philippines government could not do it by themselves. It is one of the reason of Privatization.. You have comment on this? then blame the law.. that we are a free country and we have such law.

    For those who are commenting why to buy imported naval equipment in Italy; it is part of Philippines fast warfare modernization. We could not wait to invent and develop our own while the enemy is already in heading to break our door.. its too late.. blame the previous lazy administration if you want. as of this time it is really unpractical to make it by our own.

    The strategy of using small boats is good and we could apply it so it annoys the radar…

    For the Filipinos who cares; We appreciate that but my Question is.. What happen to the Department of National Defense (DND)?

    Are you doing your job? you must start calling all the ROTC Reserves to start training because we need them! when are you going to train them? our ROTC Reserves are getting rusty because they are not well trained.

    DND? why don’t you accept volunteers and accept new applicants.. fund for mass recruitment for the AFP members… we need more…..

    For more information about Spratly Issue; I could recommend the site REBUILDING FOR THE BETTER PHILIPPINES . . its awesome site.. the history of the Spratlys Archipelago is written there…. you would learn a lot..


  • H G

    We must understand that it is only in recent history that the Chinese Communist Party started claiming the Spratly islands after they found out that there are huge mineral deposits there. Without it, they would not even fabricate their ridiculous “ancient map” that doesn’t have the accurate delineation of the boundaries and coordinates of those “9-dashes”. Pure and simple fabrication that is utterly laughable! I would ask the experts, especially the FBI, if they could get a piece of that paper or cloth or whatever it is on that “ancient map” and examine them using the methods to determine if those ink and paper or cloth used are really “ancient”. That is the first step to determine if the evidence they are claiming to have is authentic.

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