Xi Jinping willing to give PH 60% in joint exploration deal if Duterte sets aside UN ruling on South China Sea: We’re ignoring it anyway
President Rodrigo Duterte says China is willing to give the Philippines a majority 60 percent share in a proposed joint exploration deal in Recto Bank which is the subject of an ownership dispute between the two countries.
But China President Xi Jinping wants a heavy price for giving majority control to the Philippines: negate the 2016 arbitral ruling handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration voiding China’s nine-dash claim in the South China Sea. China has not only rubbished the ruling but its has further militarize the disputed areas in the last three years.
“Set aside your claim. Then allow everybody connected with the Chinese companies…They want to explore and if there is something sabi nila, ‘We would be gracious enough to give you 60 percent’. 40 lang ang kanila. That is the promise of Xi Jinping,” said Duterte as he gave more details to his discussion with Xi during a bilateral meeting in China two weeks ago.
For Duterte, Xi’s request setting aside the ruling would be par for the course if the two agree to jointly exploit the oil and gas reserves in the Recto Bank while they sort out the ownership dispute in this area. But Duterte has remained adamant he would not abandon the ruling upholding the Philippines’ claim.
“Kasi ‘yang exclusive economic zone is part of the arbitral ruling which we will ignore to come up with an economic activity,” said Duterte.
“You know, China is there. He holds the property under the claim of ownership. ‘Yan ang sagot niya. It is ours, we will not budge,” he added.