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As Beijing and Manila shake hands on the South China Sea Energy Agreement, backlash begins by Filipino critics

Manila defended his recently signed joint investigation of energy exploration with Beijing in the disputed waters of the South China…

Manila defended his recently signed joint investigation of energy exploration with Beijing in the disputed waters of the South China Sea after critics said the airplane undermined an international court of law in favor of the Philippines.

Following a red carpet welcome to China’s President Xi Jinping at the Malacañang Palace in Manila on Tuesday, the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Common Oil and Gas Development in the Disputed Water, another sign of the Manila Heat Warring with Beijing under President Rodrigo Duterte .

The agreement comes at a time to intensify tension between China and the United States – a defense treaty associated with the Philippines – which has gone beyond their trade war to collide with Chinese militarization of the South China Sea.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the nations said that South China disputes would not affect their cooperation.

They said that disputes should be resolved by endless negotiations among creditors – a hidden reference to the United States – and no side should resort to violence. Both nations should exercise withdrawal to avoid disputes.

Duterte said at the Asia Pacific Singapore Summit last week that China was “already in possession” of the South China Sea, so it was more meaningful to work with it in the resource-rich realm instead of creating frictions.

“China is there,” he told reporters. “It’s a reality, and America and everyone should realize they’re there.”

Since Manila operates an “independent foreign policy” aimed at balancing major powers, Duterte claims that if tensions in the South China Sea result in war, the Philippines will be the first to suffer. “

In May, Filipino foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano struck a hausseus saying:” Nobody can extract natural resources there on their own. The president has explained that. If someone gets the natural resources in the Westfalen Sea and the South China Sea, he will go to war. “

The Dutert government said that territorial disputes would not have to pave the way for common development, and the Philippine leader insisted that it should be beneficial for the country to move forward.

It remains to be seen how the Joint Exploration Agreement is coming to fit into Manila’s “Independent Foreign Policy”, with analysts predicting more difficulty for the Philippines to avoid becoming security injuries that escalate tensions between China and the United States, including in the South China Sea.

“If you talk about game translations, the South China Sea will be The arena where the geopolitical issues will play out, “Herman Kraft, a Political-Scientific Professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, said.

Philippine opponents of the Joint Prospectus Agreement argue that Dutert’s approach to Beijing has prioritized major infrastructure agreements – The two sides have signed 29 offers on Tuesday, some include more Chinese funding – at the expense of the South East Asian nation’s interests in the South China Sea.

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In 2016, during the administration of Dutert’s predecessor Benigno Aquino, Manila, won a trial at an international court that invalidated Beijing’s” nine points “” Claims that more than 80 percent of the water after the two countries have engaged in Scarborough Shoal – about 200km west of the Philippines port in Subic Bay on Luzon Island – 2012.

Opposition politicians demanded a survey of proposed Joint Research, with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, publishes a bilateral agreement, apparently drafted by the Chinese side. The draft proposed the establishment of a Joint Steering Committee and Working Group for Realizing the Waterfront Manila officially saying The West Fillian Sea, an area that both governments claim.

“The joint oil and gas exploration should not affect the respective sovereignty and maritime rights and interests of the two parties,” said the draft document, which states that China approved the China National Offshore Oil Corporation to participate in the joint investigation.

But current Foreign Minister Teddy Locsin Jnr insisted on Twitter that he alone signed the agreement signed on Tuesday, “without consulting the so-called Chinese draft.”

“Wrote a hero out of a whole cloth and it is impossible to attack and irresistible to praise for its sheer, amazing elegance,” he wrote.

Environmental groups and campaigns criticized the deal to endanger the biodiversity of the West Filipino Sea, the supply of Philippine fishermen in the area and 2016 arbitration. In recent years, Beijing has become increasingly self-adhesive in the South China Sea, including building artificial islands and militarizing the areas it claims.

“China can not just draft a framework agreement on our sovereignty and impose it on the Philippines,” said Fisherfolk Group Pamalakaya Pilipinas, representing more than 100,000 people in the industry. “There can never be mutual respect and benefits in joint venture when China was the one who created the framework agreement.”

Fernando Hicap, the chairman of the group, said the fishermen felt their situation deteriorated during the Duterte administration – a government generally criticized for its foreign policy policy with six leaders in their organization killed in the last two years.

“It’s getting worse for us, but we’re not afraid,” he said. “Fishermen have nowhere to go, but to ask for their rights.”

Celia Lamkin, founder and global president of the National Youth Movement for the West Fillin Sea, also criticized the joint investigation agreement to defy the court. 19659025] “It is not only the Philippines affected by what China does in the South China Sea,” said Lamkin, who finances the group to raise awareness of the territorial issue and provide help to fishermen. “We must claim our sovereign rights in the West Fillin Sea. What is ours.”

Analysts say that other issues surround the agreement, including potential violations of the Philippine Constitution to allow common development in the country’s exclusive economic zone, an area like reaching 200 miles from the shoreline, and where the other power said common development was a perception that occurred for decades, but China’s growing power in the region and arbitration decision has changed the context of these discussions.

“The Duterte Administration, of course, is trying to drive common development – it is part of the whole idea of ​​connecting ties with China,” Kraft says.

“The question that will come to mind is, why should we, from the Philippine point of view, agreeing to common development when it appears that joint development means that we both have claims, but what the arbitration decision shows is that China’s position regarding a demand for resources in the area is not as strong as it was before the arbitration decision came out. How do you resist it without enjoying chilling or accepting how China is facing the problem? “

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