PH, China working to finalize joint sea exploration agreement

By Genalyn Kabiling / April 10, 2018 / Manila Bulletin

BOAO, China – The Philippines is trying to finalize a joint sea exploration agreement with China in the next couple of months, the Philippine ambassador to China said Monday.

Amb. Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said negotiations are ongoing to find a common legal framework to conduct joint mineral exploration in the South China Sea. Continue reading “PH, China working to finalize joint sea exploration agreement”


Joint Development in the West Philippine Sea: an Idea Whose Time Has Come

By Lucio Blanco Pitlo III/ March 19, 2018 / Originally posted at PACNET

A proposed joint development (JD) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) between the Philippines and China has revived debates on how best to move forward in the longstanding regional flashpoint. There should be no debate – the Philippines should enter into the JD, even if the partner is a state-owned entity, as long as it can deliver. Most importantly, JD does not necessarily impact adversely the 2016 arbitral ruling and the Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights position on the WPS. The Philippine service contract (SC) system may offer a solution for both countries and can accommodate a JD. This approach to JD can enhance the country’s energy security, create jobs, promote technology and knowledge transfer, and contribute in dispute management. Continue reading “Joint Development in the West Philippine Sea: an Idea Whose Time Has Come”

Don’t Push China Too Hard After SCS Ruling 

By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR./ July 11, 2016/

WASHINGTON: “To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape,” Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago. It’s a stratagem – often called the “golden bridge” – that the US and its allies would do well to remember tomorrow morning, when a UN tribunal ruling on disputes in the South China Sea will almost certainly deliver China a legal and political defeat. Chinese nationalists will stridently demand retaliation.  We need to give Xi Jinping room to deescalate instead without losing face. Continue reading “Don’t Push China Too Hard After SCS Ruling”

China Congratulates Philippines’ New President

By Shannon Tiezzi / July 1, 2016 /The Diplomat

The Philippines swore in Rodrigo Duterte as its sixteenth president on June 30. Despite (or perhaps because of) rocky ties under previous President Benigno Aquino, the Chinese government wasted no time offering its congratulations to the new leader in Manila.

Xinhua reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of congratulations on Thursday, saying that “he is willing to work with Duterte to push for improvement of relations between their two countries.” The Chinese leader purposefully avoided mentioning the strained ties over the past four years, resulting from heated disputes over features in the South China Sea. Instead, Xi went on to praise the “good-neighborliness and friendship” that he described as an “historical inheritance for the thousands-year-long history of China-Philippine relations.” Continue reading “China Congratulates Philippines’ New President”