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PHL-China joint oil exploration in West PhilippineSea, more beneficial than Malampaya joint venture – DFA

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

MANILA. Philippines — It was in 1986 when the plan for a joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea was first raised between Chairman Deng Xiaoping and former President Corazon Aquino.

The project did not push through because the Constitution that time was newly revised.

Also, the plan was halted by decades of government transitions.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said that since the issue is now surfacing, he assures that the project will adhere with the provisions of the law.
“The Philippines will take a very conservative approach. Meaning we will interpret the provisions of the Constitution to be restrictive and to be beneficial to the Filipino people,” he said.

Cayetano did not mention any detail regarding his negotiation with China and there are no formal talks yet between the two countries about the issue.

What he mentioned from his talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was the possibility of creating a framework for a possible agreement.

“So we’re exploring if we can explore, right? It’s like a casual relationship, not an intimate one. It’s like we’re on a getting-to-know-stage or if there’s hope to push through with the project,” he said.

Cayetano believes it will take a long time to possibly realize a joint exploration in West Philippine Sea, taking into consideration a possible destabilization among South East Asian countries that also claim portions of the territory. — Macky Libradilla | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Violent tornado touches down in north China, ravaging villages

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

 

Amateur footage of Tornado | Reuters

A rare tornado touched down in Jinghai District of north China’s Tianjin Municipality Monday afternoon, snapping utility poles in half and causing damage to local residences.

The tornado was formed at around 17:30 and barreled through swathes of crop fields and several villages.

Videos taken by local residents showed the sizable tornado from a distance and the glass roof shaking while the fierce wind carrying debris across.

Fortunately, no one was severely injured except a man in Xiwuli Village who was slightly bruised, according to the emergency response team.

Xiwuli village was one of the most affected areas with a utility pole snapping in half then hitting a car. A cottage was flattened while damage to varying degrees has also been caused to some orchards.

The clear-up work and repairs to the broken power facilities are currently underway. — Reuters

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Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit PH in November

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: (Left-Right) Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and China Pres. Xi Jinping (PCOO)

 

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected visit to the Philippines by year-end is the latest sign of improving relations between the two countries.

Malacañang said that President Xi’s visit will take place after the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea in November.

But prior to his visit, a deal on the proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea may possibly be forged.

This is after Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of a group that will study the proposal.

The Palace also expects Xi to visit Davao City, the home town of President Duterte.

“He was looking forward to visiting the Philippines and I remember in China, the President even invited him not just to come to the Philippines but to come to his house and have dinner in his house in Davao,” Roque said. — UNTV News & Rescue

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ASEAN-China agree on draft Code of Conduct negotiating text on South China Sea

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018

ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting, 2 August 2018, Singapore. From left: Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Myanmar International Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Viet Nam Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, PRC State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Brunei Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Erywan bin Pehin Yusof, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi. (Photo credit: ASEAN 2018 Organising Committee)

 

SINGAPORE – Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China agreed on a single draft document that will form the basis of negotiations for a code of conduct in the South China Sea, said Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in his statement on Thursday (August 2) during the annual ASEAN-China ministerial meeting in Singapore.

When asked for details of the draft text, the official declined to reveal any further information  due to the “sensitivity of the negotiations,” adding that it would be “premature” to set a deadline for when the negotiations would be completed.

Minister Balakrishnan, however, clarified that the code of conduct “was never meant to resolve territorial disputes.” Therefore, he added that the agreement on a single text does not mean that negotiations are over, or that all the competing claims over territory in the South China Sea are resolved.

“The COC is meant to generate a code of conduct that would ensure peace, stability, and confidence gets build up so that we can continue to make collective progress between ASEAN and China, whilst we take time to resolve the territorial disputes,” he said.

The official called the draft text as “a major achievement” and a “milestone” for the regional bloc.

China has been in dispute with several ASEAN member countries including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam over territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Singapore is the country coordinator of ASEAN-China dialogue relations for three years aside from being this year’s chair of the ASEAN.

“Everyone is glad that we’ve reached this stage. Everyone also hopes that we’ll be able to accelerate the process,” Balakrishnan said.

Minister Balakrishnan said that what is important at present is “to maintain sufficient flexibility so that nobody feels locked in” on the course of the negotiations. – Maila Guevarra / Marje Pelayo

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