MANILA – Beijing is ready to revive the negotiations on joint oil exploration and development with Manila under the Marcos administration.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin, in a presser on Friday, said joint offshore oil and gas development is 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.
"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," he said.
"Leaders of the two countries reached important common understanding on this. The two governments signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation (MOU) on Oil and Gas Development and have actively pursued negotiations and made important progress within this framework," he added.
The MOU, signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the Philippines in November 2018, is the basis for the two nations to “negotiate on an accelerated basis arrangement to facilitate oil and gas exploration and exploitation" in the West Philippine Sea consistent with applicable rules of international law.
On Thursday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. revealed that the Philippines initiated the termination of the three-year negotiations.
He said the talks went as far as constitutionally possible but another step forward would have risked a constitutional crisis. (PNA)