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Press Release

Duterte Announces that The Philippines, China and Vietnam
Will Explore Joint Development of the South China Sea

May 2017

Philippines Government
President Duterte at his press conference in Beijing, Oct. 19, 2016.

May 17, 2017 (EIRNS)—Coming back from the Belt and Road Forum, Philippine President Duterte announced that he was open to restoring an earlier agreement with China and Vietnam for joint development of the rich resources in the South China Sea. Such an agreement was reached in 2005, but was sabotaged by anti-China operatives within the Philippines.

"Let us see the wherewithals," Duterte told the press Tuesday. "It has to be fair and it has to be balanced. So if we can get something there with no hassle at all, so why not?"

"We must find ways and means to jointly develop the area’s hydrocarbon potential to help lessen our common dependence on distant petroleum sources in the Middle East," said Jose de Venecia, who was with Duterte in Beijing and discussed the issue at the forum.

Duterte also reported that in his meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, they had reaffirmed China’s commitments to accelerate infrastructure projects previously agreed upon between the Philippines and China."