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Palace: Too early to work for joint exploration, use of Spratlys resources

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang said on Thursday it would be premature to push for an agreement for joint exploration and use among claimant countries in the disputed territories of the Spratlys islands, now officially called by the Philippines as the West Philippine Sea.

“I think it’s premature to talk about that right now. We have yet to make clear with all other countries what our territory is and what are considered disputed. We still have a lot of things to settle,” said Secretary Ramon Carandang, head of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, in reaction to former speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.’s proposal.

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“Ultimately, what we do want to see is a way that the resources in the disputed areas can be jointly explored and jointly exploited by the different claimants. But it’s far ahead into the future,” he added.

The Spratlys are being claimed in whole or in parts by the Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.

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TAGS: Diplomacy, exploration, Foreign affairs, geopolitics, international affairs, oil and gas, Politics, Sec. Ricky Carandang, Spratly Islands, Spratlys, territorial disputes
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