More than two years ago Philippine energy officials ordered stop drilling for oil and natural gas in the West Philippines Sea as Beijing demands. The Southeast Asian country’s Department of Energy froze that purpose because the Philippines was planning for world court arbitration with China over who has the more rights to the field of the sea.
The Southeast Asian country’s Department of Energy froze that purpose because the Philippines was planning for world court arbitration with China over who has the more rights to the field of the sea.
A report states, the Philippine Department of Energy can restart drilling at Reed Bank, an 8,866 square-kilometer area of west of Palawan Island.
The drilling would actively upset China, which beliefs more than 90% of the area of South China Sea including Reed Bank to be its territory, despite the Hague ruling in July 2016.
Euan Graham, international security director with the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Australia, says that it may cause more problems with China. If it came in heavy handed, that would compromise Duterte’s position, and Duterte is their best asset int he Philippines. It added the flip side China is taking very offensive positions on all its external boundaries at the moment with the upcoming Congress China’s 19th Communist Party congress will seemingly take place in November, and its Chairman Xi Jinping will be appointed then to a new term if all’s going well for him.
China may response any drilling at Reed Bank by withholding aid or investment as declared or allocated to date, Bozzato said, hurting Duterte’s ambition for economic development. Chinese officials could restart any suspended aid if relations improved.
China pledged $24 billion for the Philippines in October, during President Duterte’s visit in the country in exchange for setting aside the maritime sovereignty dispute with China.