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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...

 

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