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China to advance joint oil, gas search talks with PH under next admin

/ 11:54 PM June 24, 2022
After the Duterte government ended joint oil and gas exploration talks with China, Beijing said it is ready to advance negotiations in the next administration.

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin takes a question during the daily Foreign Ministry briefing in Beijing on July 24, 2020. GREG BAKER / AFP via China Daily/Asia News Network

MANILA, Philippines — After the Duterte government ended joint oil and gas exploration talks with China, Beijing said it is ready to advance negotiations in the next administration.

“China stands ready to work in concert with the new Philippine government to advance negotiations on joint development and strive to take early substantive steps so as to deliver tangible benefits to both countries and peoples,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a press briefing on Friday.

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It was in In 2018 when Manila and Beijing signed a memorandum of understanding creating the framework for future negotiations on joint oil and gas explorations in the West Philippine Sea.

According to Wang, the two countries’ planned joint offshore oil and gas development was the “right way for China and the Philippines to manage maritime differences and achieve win-win results without prejudicing either side’s maritime positions and claims.”

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“Leaders of the two countries reached important common understanding on this. The two governments signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development and have actively pursued negotiations and made important progress within this framework,” the Chinese official added.

But on Thursday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced the termination of joint oil and gas exploration discussions with Beijing upon the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Three years on and we had not achieved our objective of developing oil and gas resources so critical for the Philippines — but not at the price of sovereignty; not even a particle of it,” Locsin had said.

The Philippines and China have long been locked in a maritime dispute.

In 2016, Manila won an arbitral award that invalidated Beijing’s expansive claims in the South China Sea, including parts of the West Philippines Sea.

China, however, has repeatedly brushed aside the arbitral ruling.

JPV

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