PHL, China to discuss possible joint exploration in West PHL Sea

The Philippines and China will include the topic on possible joint exploration in West Philippine Sea in the upcoming 2nd bilateral consultative mechanism (BCM) with the Chinese government, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on January 15.

“Conceptually, we both want it, in the declaration of the Chinese premier and the Philippine president, it was there,” Cayetano said.

He added that in talks for possible joint exploration “the two countries will distance themselves from the issue of territorial rights for the meantime.”

“We are looking for best practices all around the world disputed and undisputed areas, there are examples around the world where there are disputed areas pero nagkaroon ng agreement na puwede yung both countries because they dealt with sovereignty rights, economic rights. Territorial rights ‘di puwede,” he said.

The 2nd BCM will be held here in the Philippines, while the third BCM will be in China in March or April.

Cayetano added that all issues will be discussed in the BCM “including on fishermen, how we see the long-term or where will we be five years from now, 15 years from now, and if other countries are using the word militarization, how do you define militarization.”

“We expect that both negative, ‘yung claims ilalabas dito, but also ‘yung positive like the joint exploration,” he said.