Philippines, China to work out how to tap oil, gas that both sides claim | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Philippines, China to work out how to tap oil, gas that both sides claim

The Philippines and China have agreed to set up a special panel to work out how they can jointly explore oil and gas in part of the South China Sea that both sides lay claim without having to address the explosive issue of sovereignty.

China claims most of the South China Sea, where $3 billion in sea-borne trade pass every year, and has competing claims in various parts of it with Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

“It’s just the start of a process,” Philippine ambassador to China, Chito Sta. Romana, told reporters late on Tuesday after diplomats from both sides met for the second time under a bilateral mechanism aimed at defusing longstanding maritime tensions.

He said the decision to form a working group on cooperating on energy was a “breakthrough”.

Forming an agreement for a joint project would be extremely complex and sensitive as both countries claim jurisdiction of the site of the oil and gas reserves, so sharing them could be deemed legitimising the other side’s claim, or even ceding sovereign territory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This well may be is a watershed moment in the relationship between China and the Philippines.

Bravo to both sides, well done!!

Let's hope that the mutual good will here extends to other areas of conflict between the two countries.

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