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Marcos: Legal aspects of joint oil, gas exploration with China need to be discussed

BEIJING—Some legal issues need to be discussed as regards the proposed joint oil and gas exploration with China in the South China Sea, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Thursday.

Speaking to Filipino reporters before leaving for Manila, Marcos said the Philippine side asked for sovereign rights in the potential joint exploration.

“I think the central issue there is the difference between sovereignty and sovereign rights,” Marcos said.

“What we are asking for are sovereign rights. We are not demanding sovereignty over those areas. This is... the wiggle room that we have to negotiate with. I think that’s the direction that those talks would take,” he added.

Marcos said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that oil and gas exploration was necessary for the Philippine economy.

“The Chinese government, the leadership understands that this is an important part of the Philippine economy and they promise to do all that they can to come to an agreement and as do we in the Philippines promised to do all that we can to come to that agreement,” Marcos said.

Marcos and Xi talked about the negotiations in the joint oil and gas explorations in the resource-rich region during their bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Marcos expressed hope that the negotiations would “bear fruit” and be beneficial for Manila and Beijing. —NB, GMA Integrated News