Malacañang: China, PH far from joint exploration agreement in the South China Sea


Roque: Arbitral ruling stands no matter what China does
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 6) — China and the Philippines are far from reaching a deal on joint exploration in the disputed South China Sea, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.

“We declared a moratorium on all exploration activities. Talks are ongoing, but we’re very far away from arriving at an agreement,” Roque told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

He revealed that Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi expressed support for the lifting of the moratorium in a Cabinet meeting on Monday. But China had rejected any such move.

“I had lunch with the Chinese ambassador and [he said], ‘We hope the Philippines will not do that because right now the status quo is serving us very well. We want bilateral talks ahead of unilateral action on the part of the Philippines,'” said Roque. “So I don’t know where we are.”