Top diplomat says Philippines open to resume oil talks with China

Philippines Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo said any deal will have to comply with Philippine laws. PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (BLOOMBERG) - The Philippines is open to new talks with China on oil and gas exploration, its top diplomat said Wednesday (Aug 31).

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr's government is ready to resume discussions, but any deal will have to comply with Philippine laws, Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo told lawmakers during his agency's budget hearing.

"We will be not agreeing to anything not in accordance with the Philippine Constitution. That will be our guiding principle," Mr Manalo said.

In June, Mr Marcos' predecessor, Mr Rodrigo Duterte, ended talks with Beijing on oil exploration in the South China Sea, with then foreign minister Teodoro Locsin saying discussions have gone as far as "it is constitutionally possible to go".

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