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China wants to resume discussions with the Marcos administration over oil development

Beijing is prepared to resume discussions over Manila and Beijing’s joint oil exploration and development during the Marcos regime.

Joint offshore oil and gas development is the “right way for China and the Philippines” to manage maritime differences and achieve win-win outcomes without prejudice to either side’s maritime positions and claims, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin in a press conference on Friday.

The new Philippine government and China are prepared to accelerate joint development agreements, he added. “China stands ready to work in concert with the new Philippine government to take early substantial initiatives so as to offer genuine advantages to both nations and peoples.”

“The two countries’ leaders came to a significant agreement on this. The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation (MOU) on Oil and Gas Development was signed by the two countries, and they have vigorously pursued negotiations and made significant progress within this framework, he continued.

The two countries will “negotiate on an accelerated basis arrangement to facilitate oil and gas exploration and exploitation” in the West Philippine Sea in accordance with applicable rules of international law,” according to the MOU, which was signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Philippines in November 2018.

Teodoro Locsin Jr., the secretary for foreign affairs, confirmed on Thursday that the Philippines had started the three-year negotiations’ break.

According to him, the negotiations went as far as was legally possible, but taking things farther would have put the country at risk of a constitutional crisis.

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