China is “ready to work” to promote oil exploration negotiations with the new Filipino government: officials

China aims to revive negotiations on joint oil exploration with the “New Philippine Government” amid ongoing issues between the two countries over the maritime differences between the conflicting South China Sea and the Western Philippine Sea, officials said. Said on Thursday.

At a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said: Country and people. “

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China announced that Philippine Foreign Minister Theodoro Lopecin Jr. has completed negotiations between China and the Philippines on a planned joint oil exploration in the Western Philippine Sea at the behest of President Rodrigo Duterte. After that, I commented.

Both China and the Philippines have fought for decades for maritime sovereignty, claiming almost all of what Beijing believes to be the South China Sea within its exclusive economic zone, with an estimated 11 billion barrels. Trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to undeveloped oil and 190 Council on Foreign Relations.

In recent years, Beijing has reportedly built ports in conflict areas, including the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands, built military facilities and runways, and militarized other areas such as Woody Island, which deployed fighters and cruise missiles. I am.

That is despite the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague 2016 decision In the case filed by Manila, Beijing did not have a “historical right” to the disputed sea.

China refused to accept the ruling.

Diplomatic protest

On the other hand, the Philippines, which is overwhelmingly dependent on fuel imports, has been unable to proceed with planned research and development in conflict areas, and has continued to invade China’s sovereignty. There are more than one diplomatic protest.Diplomat report.

Despite the ongoing conflict, the two countries jointly promised to investigate oil and gas assets in the conflict area in 2018, and Duterte in 2020. Announcing lifting Conducting a six-year moratorium on oil and gas exploration at Reed Bank to avoid further provocation in Beijing.

The moratorium has been in place since 2014, before his administration, and its lift has been widely criticized for dismissing the 2016 Hague ruling on China’s unfounded “historical rights” to conflict areas. I did.

However, in April of this year, the Philippine Ministry of Energy announced I ordered the suspension An overview of oil exploration activities in disputed waters cites “the political, diplomatic, and national security implications of all activities” in the waters.

Locsin Jr. on Thursday the talks said It was terminated due to issues of sovereignty and constitutional restrictions.

“The leaders of both countries have reached [an] An important common understanding of this. The two governments have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on oil and gas development cooperation, actively negotiated within this framework, and made significant progress, “he said, referring to the 2018 pledge.

“The president was talking … the oil and gas debate is completely over. Nothing is pending. It’s all over,” Locsin said. “Three years later, the goal of developing oil and gas resources that are so important to the Philippines has not been achieved, but it does not sacrifice sovereignty, not even the particles of it.”

However, after Duterte’s landslide victory in the May election, talks between the two countries will continue as he plans to transfer power to the next president-elect, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., also known as “Bonbon” this month. I can see.

Marcos Junior I told reporters Back in May, he will continue to “discuss with China in a solid voice” about the ongoing controversial waters, but “we need to be taught by anyone how to run our country. No, “he added. Negotiations there. “

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.

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