Philippines terminates China talks for joint energy exploration

The Philippines has called off its negotiations with China for joint oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea, a Manila report said quoting the foreign secretary Teodoro Locsin.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the termination of the talks with China though he himself had set the ball rolling for the joint work way back in 2018, Locsin said.

The proposal for joint exploration came from China, which proposed that it be undertaken in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.  

“Three years on and we had not achieved our objective of developing oil and gas resources so critical for the Philippines but not at the price of sovereignty. Not even a particle of it,” Locsin has said noting that the two countries have conflicting claims in SCS.

He also called on the incoming Philippine administration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr to protect the country’s sovereignty.

China has maritime disputes with several countries in the South China Sea on the shelf of which significant reserves of hydrocarbons have been discovered.