(L-R) Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano met with his Chinese counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Wednesday.
During the said meeting, China agreed to prudently advance cooperation with the Philippines on joint oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea.
Wang also hopes to turn the disputed territory into a source of friendship and cooperation.
“The South China Sea controversy will be turned into a source of friendship and cooperation and we will jointly uphold regional peace and stability,” said the Chinese foreign minister.
For his part, Cayetano said he is confident that the countries would find a suitable legal framework on future explorations in the South China Sea.
“The Philippines and China are finding a common legal framework to conduct joint exploration and surveys. And with our discussions today, I’m confident that we will find a suitable legal framework for our two countries,” said Cayetano.
The two countries in February agreed to set up a special panel to work out how they can jointly explore offshore oil and gas in areas both sides claim, without needing to address the touchy issue of sovereignty.
The area is currently under a territorial dispute.
China claims most of the South China Sea, a key trade route and home to areas that are believed to hold large quantities of oil and natural gas. Along with China, parts of the South China Sea are subject to competing claims from Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue