Philippines' Duterte to bring up territorial issues to China

Philippines' Duterte to bring up territorial issues to China

Philippines' Duterte to bring up territorial issues to China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's much-touted meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping yielded no agreement on the South China Sea territorial dispute between the two nations or a plan to explore the area for oil and gas.

"This will not only benefit our two countries and our peoples, but also will provide positive energy to the region", Xi said.

From The Netherlands, Communist Party of the Philippines founding Chairman Jose Maria Sison on Friday called on Filipinos to remain vigilant over a proposed joint exploration deal between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea.

Duterte will fly back to the Philippines on September 2.

China's own actions haven't helped.

The Filipino leader faces growing pressure at home to confront China over its aggressive approach to upholding its contested territorial claims in the waterway after largely setting aside the standoff for his years in office.

Tensions have been building since China began transforming a string of disputed reefs into missile-protected island bases.

The gross income from regulatory fees from offshore gaming operations realised by the country's gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) was just under PHP2.7 billion (US$51.5 million) in the first half of this year, about 7 percent of Pagcor's total first-half gross income of just under PHP36.6 billion, according to data released earlier this month by the regulator.

The Philippine President is expressing concerns over China's activity in the South China Sea. "At best, Duterte might be seen as using the arbitration discussion as a move to leverage other concessions".

"In response, President Xi reiterated his government's position of not recognising the arbitral ruling as well as not budging from its position", the statement said.

The outcome of Xi and Duterte's meeting shows joint oil exploration talks are proceeding "as slow as can be expected", said Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea. He's not coming here to provoke the Chinese. "The overall tone was diplomatic and friendly", Mr Santo Romana told The Straits Times.

From the Chinese perspective, Duterte has been a welcome partner.

The Hague arbitration, citing violations of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, mostly invalidated China's claim to virtually the entire South China Sea.

Beijing claims the majority of the sea, often invoking its so-called nine-dash line to justify its alleged historic rights, but the waters are also contested by Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei.

-Preferential buyer's credit loan agreement of project management consultancy of the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project between the DoF and the Export-Import Bank of China.

The two leaders agreed to work together to "manage" the issue and recognized "the importance of self-restraint and respect for freedom of navigation", he said.

Philippine presidential spokesperson Salavador Panelo said in a statement, "We likewise welcome the owner's humility to take responsibility and acknowledgment that compensation must be provided to cover the actual loss".

Duterte will be in China until September 1.

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