US failed to turn the Philippines against China despite maritime demarcation issues | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

US failed to turn the Philippines against China despite maritime demarcation issues

Cooperation between China and the Philippines could easily be hindered by U.S. interference in territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Washington wants to exploit Chinese-Filipino contentions in their demarcation claims over the South China Sea in an attempt to pressurize and contain China’s growing influence in Southeast Asia. However, despite Washington’s desire to steer the Philippines away from China, the two countries are currently negotiating joint oil and gas exploitation in the South China Sea and the Philippines’ energy urgency could be a powerful driver for the two sides to finally reach an agreement.

Forum Ltd., a subsidiary of one of the leading energy groups in the Philippines – PXP Energy Group, is negotiating with the China Offshore Oil and Gas Corporation (CNOOC). According to Reuters, PXP said that the parties have not reached an agreement yet. Although an agreement has not yet been made, to date CNOOC is the only foreign company asked by the Filipinos to become a potential participant in joint oil and gas exploitation in the South China Sea. This occurred after Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte approved on October 15 the lifting of the suspension on oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea that has been banned since 2014 by a decision of former President Benigno Aquino.

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