Analysts: China to Gain from South China Sea Compromise
A proposed 60-40 split favoring the Philippines over China in rights to any oil or gas discovered together in a contested sea helps Beijing protect an iffy but valuable diplomatic relationship with Manila and prove its neighborly credentials in other parts of Asia, analysts say. The foreign minister under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was quoted saying July 31 Beijing is willing to take the minority stake in any fossil fuel discoveries found under a tract of the South China Sea where the two countries have competing sovereignty claims. A minority stake for China would help Beijing prove itself to a skeptical Philippine public, analysts say. Philippine President Duterte has sought strong relations with China since he took office in 2016 by laying aside their maritime sovereignty dispute. China has offered aid and investment in return. But polls have shown many Filipinos still do not trust China. The two countries once vied bitterly over the South China Sea, culminating in Manila’s victory in a world arbitration case two years ago. “This plan for the government has received a lot of criticisms, because others would argue if these areas are in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, that belongs to the Philippines and it should not be shared,” said Maria Ela Atienza, political science professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Unsettled dispute, Chinese military strength Duterte advocates friendly ties with China because, he says, the Philippines could not win a war with the country. China, which commands Asia’s strongest armed forces, has built military installations on three islets in the Spratly Islands, a South China Sea archipelago that each side claims as its own. Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also dispute rights to the Spratlys. Chinese vessels pushed Filipino fishing boats out of Scarborough Shoal near the Philippine island... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Analysts: China to Gain from South China Sea Compromise, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Wednesday, 15 August, 2018
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