Palace releases PH-China MOU on oil and gas devt
THE MOU states that “in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, fairness and mutual benefit, flexibility and pragmatism and consensus, through equal and friendly consultation, the two governments have decided to negotiate on an accelerated basis arrangements to facilitate oil and gas exploration and exploitation in relevant maritime areas consistent with applicable rules of international law.”
It also said all negotiations “will be without prejudice to the respective legal positions of both governments.” It also does not “create rights or obligations under international or domestic law.”
The MOU was among the 29 agreements signed by the two countries on November 20, during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Philippines.
China’s expansive claim in the South China Sea includes portions of the West Philippine Sea, but the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague invalidated it in July 2016, favoring the Philippines’ claims in the area. China has refused to recognize the ruling. President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, has chosen to set aside the ruling and engaged Beijing in bilateral talks.
The MOU, however, does not specify the maritime areas to be covered should a joint exploration pushes through.
Under the MOU, Beijing and Manila will create an Inter-Governmental Joint Steering Committee and one or more inter-entrepreneurial working groups that will be composed of government officials, relevant agencies, and other individuals from both the Philippines and China.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.