Manila and Beijing seek co­op­er­a­tion in South China Sea

Southeast Asia Globe - - Panorama -

The Philip­pines and China hope to reach a deal in the com­ing months that would clear the path for joint ex­plo­ration for oil and gas in an area of the hotly dis­puted South China Sea claimed by both na­tions. While China claims about 80% of the im­por­tant, resource-rich trad­ing route, the na­tions of Brunei, Malaysia, Tai­wan, Viet­nam and the Philip­pines all lay claim to parts of the ter­ri­tory.

In 2016, China re­jected a rul­ing from the Per­ma­nent Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion that de­clared Philip­pine sovereignty in parts of the sea.

Any po­ten­tial agree­ment would skirt is­sues regarding dis­puted wa­ters and has been seen as the lat­est at­tempt by Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte to mend strained re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions, break­ing with the hos­tile stance taken by his pre­de­ces­sor Benigno Aquino. China has pledged bil­lions of dol­lars in in­vest­ment in the coun­try since Duterte's elec­tion.

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