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  • China and the Philippines Agree to Oil & Gas Deal

China and the Philippines Agree to Oil & Gas Deal

Dec 10 2018 Read 621 Times

As the world's biggest oil importer, China guzzles a huge 8.4 million barrels per day. Now, the People's Republic has strengthened ties with the Philippines and agreed to a controversial "memorandum of understanding" regarding the South China Sea. Under the new agreement, Beijing and Manila have signed off on a joint oil and gas development that will deepen reconciliation between the two nations.

When Xi Jinping touched down in the Philippines in November it was the first official visit from a Chinese leader in 13 years. As general secretary of the Communist Party of China and president of the People's Republic of China, Jinping approved a long-awaited agreement to unlock access to offshore oil and gas deposits in the South China Sea.

“China and the Philippines have a lot of common interest in the South China Sea,” says Xi Jinping.

Rebuilding relations between Beijing and Manila

For over a decade, relations between China and the Philippines have been tense due to ongoing disputes regarding ownership of the South China Sea. Now, Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte has opened communication lines with China and welcomed Xi Jinping to Malacañang Palace, hailing it as “a landmark moment in our shared history” that will play an important role in “deepening trust and confidence” between the two countries.

For the Philippines, an agreement with China could represent a new opportunity to explore the rich energy deposits off Palawan Island, a region that's been off limits until now. The agreement could also see a Chinese industrial park constructed just outside Manila, as well as support in rebuilding and rehabilitating the city of Marawi, which was rocked by a battle between Filipino government security forces and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in 2017.

While the agreement has been praised by some, others claim that it “diminishes the Philippines’ exclusive rights” and in turn, breaches the country’s constitution. Risa Hontiveros, a Filipino political who opposes the deal has slammed it as "preposterous and treacherous” and maintains it "reverses our historic victory at The Hague and signs away Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.”

While the Philippines is powering forward with oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea, wind energy is also gaining traction. For a closer look at what it takes to maintain renewable energy farms don't miss 'Lubrication of Wind Turbines is Anything but a Breeze'.

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