Philippines, China seek pact to end stand-off over oil, gas

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City last month, during Mr Wang's two-day visit to the Philippines for a series of bilateral meetings and signing of agreements.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City last month, during Mr Wang's two-day visit to the Philippines for a series of bilateral meetings and signing of agreements.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Deal to jointly explore disputed areas for the reserves must still address sovereignty issue

After years of brinkmanship in the South China Sea, an agreement between China and the Philippines to explore the billions of dollars in oil and gas reserves that may lie beneath seems within reach.

For months, the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has toyed with lifting its ban on exploration in contested areas such as the 800,000ha Reed Bank.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2018, with the headline 'Philippines, China seek pact to end stand-off over oil, gas'. Print Edition | Subscribe