The Philippines is willing to share natural resources with Beijing in contested South China Sea areas even if it wins a legal challenge next week, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told AFP Friday.
Yasay said President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration hoped to quickly begin direct talks with China following Tuesday’s verdict, with the negotiations to cover jointly exploiting natural gas reserves and fishing grounds within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
“We can even have the objective of seeing how we can jointly explore this territory: how we can utilise and benefit mutually from the utilization of the resources in this exclusive economic zone where claims are overlapping,” Yasay told AFP in an interview.
The Philippines, under Benigno Aquino’s previous administration, filed in 2013 a legal challenge with a UN-backed tribunal in The Hague contesting China’s claims to nearly all of the strategically vital sea. Read More