Palace says PH must get something out of friendship with China
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will try to get the benefits of being China’s friend when he visits Beijing later this month, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said this as Duterte claimed that he’s “most interested” about raising the planned joint oil exploration deal in the West Philippine Sea with China when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping for the fifth time.
“We have to get something out of this friendship. I think the joint exploration [deal] will be a good one given the fact that it was the Chinese government that offered the 60-40 deal,” Panelo told reporters on the sidelines of the 118th Police Service Anniversary Celebration in Camp Crame.
Duterte said Thursday that he doesn’t see anything wrong with China’s proposal to split oil resources in the West Philippine Sea in Manila’s favor.
The Philippines and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for oil and gas exploration during Xi’s state visit to the country last year.
Panelo also said that the government is hoping that China can change its position in the disputed territories because of its “friendship” with the Philippines.
“Friends can alter their positions because of friendships,” he said.
The Philippines, along with fellow Southeast Asian neighbors Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, have overlapping claims in the South China Sea along with China.
Despite an agreement to refrain from undertaking provocative actions, China has continued to expand and militarize territories that it claims in the maritime region. /jpv
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