Executive Intelligence Review


Xi Jinping in Philippines—Joint Development of South China Sea

Nov. 21, 2018 (EIRNS)—Xi Jinping completed a two-day visit to the Philippines today, where he and President Rodrigo Duterte signed 29 cooperative documents and lifted bilateral ties to the level of comprehensive strategic cooperation.

Two MOUs were signed, on Cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, and on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development in the South China Sea, as well as cooperation in mineral, energy and other marine resource development, according to a joint statement.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing today that “China also looks forward to enhancing communication with other countries in the South China Sea on such cooperation.”

There were demonstrations against Duterte and Xi by opposition groups, and threats to bring impeachment proceedings against Duterte for supposedly giving up sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea. Chinese officials, however, noted that the Philippines imports nearly 42 billion barrels of crude oil every year, and will certainly benefit from joint development of the resources in the South China Sea.

The Voice of America Chinese service called the agreement a “surrender” by the Philippines and a “white feather” to China on the South China Sea issue.