In addition to huge amount of proven oil and natural gas reserves in West Philippine Sea, China puts value on the area because its a strategic route, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the West Philippine Sea publicly aired May 17.
Enrile said West Philippine Sea has proven reserves of 7 billion barrels of crude and 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
“Apart from the fact that to China, West Philippine Sea is a very strategic route. If that area is closed or controlled by America, Japan, or any other country, China in two months will wither away as a nation. They will have famine, riots, they will have no economy because 80 percent of their energy passes through the Strait of Malacca through the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea to China,” Enrile said.
“Even Japan will suffer also if that is controlled by someone else. That’s why China is very careful not to antagonize Japan because Japan has the capability. It’s the number two naval power on this planet at the moment, second to America. And they have nuclear capability because the moment China controls the South China Sea, they can isolate South Korea and Taiwan and Japan. So it’s a very delicate balancing effort in this area,” the former senate president said.