Duterte to Xi: Don't Drill in West Philippine Sea or Else

President Duterte has bluntly threatened China with war if China tries to drill for oil and gas in its--the Philippines--section of the South China Sea. He sure doesn't beat about the bush.

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Dispute resolutions and joint development are not new to the South China Sea countries. These countries have successfully demarcated a number of maritime boundaries, including Indonesia-Malaysia, Malaysia-Thailand, Thailand-Vietnam, China-Vietnam, Indonesia-Vietnam, and Brunei-Malaysia. In the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam have agreed to an area of “joint historic waters” since 1982. Around the entrance to this gulf, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam have agreements on three areas of bilateral and trilateral joint development, the first of which dates to 1979.

Production in all countries adjacent to the SCS is dropping precipitously , while high potential deepwater areas remain undrilled. It is high time the grandstanding stops, agreements are hammered out, and drilling commences peacefully, in the interest of ALL parties. Conflict and high intensity marine patrols just use a lot of fuel & treasury, but produce none.

 

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