China, PHL sides agree to advance oil, gas cooperation – Chinese foreign ministry

During the visit of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Philippines over the weekend, the Philippine and Chinese sides have agreed to advance oil and gas cooperation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with People’s Republic of China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. during a courtesy call on the President at the MalacaƱang Palace on January 16, 2021. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

“On the South China Sea, as Secretary [of Foreign Affairs Teddy] Locsin put it, the South China Sea issue is just a lone pebble in the broad avenue of bilateral relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said during January 18 press briefing.

“The two sides should by no means allow the dispute, which only accounts for one percent of overall relations, to affect the rest 99 percent,” she added.

“Both agreed to advance oil and gas cooperation and to look for a solution in keeping with the times to address the difficulties left over from history,” Hua said.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), “Secretary Locsin and Minister Wang Yi confirmed that differences on contentious maritime issues do not represent the entirety of the Philippines-China bilateral relationship.”

“Both sides renewed their commitment to mutual respect, managing issues peacefully and in accordance with international law, and exploring areas for possible cooperation,” DFA added.