The territorial disputes in the South China Sea have been creating tension among the disputing nations like Philippines, China, and Vietnam. But lately, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Republic of the Philippines just proposed joint exploration projects with the two other countries.
With the latest reports, Duterte said in his press conference in his hometown Davao City, Philippines that he is planning to cooperate with China and Vietnam for series of exploration projects in the South China Sea. It was also claimed that his reason for doing this was to ease the tension which the disputing countries are now experiencing.
According to Latin American Herald Tribune, after his trip to China for the New Silk Road Forum as well as meeting President Xi Jinping, Duterte said that the exploration projects were only the ways to achieve a balanced agreement among the three Asian countries. It can be recalled that this suggestion gained a lot of criticisms from public officials in the Philippines.
When Duterte first proposed the exploration projects as a way to stop the tension in the South China Sea, some officials in the Philippines were not that pleased. According to them, the president should not be open to any means such as that since this only signifies that the country is giving up his rights over the said territory.
However, it looks like President Rodrigo Duterte is firm on his proposition and would want to have a peaceful dispute with China and Vietnam over the South China Sea. If the other two countries accept his proposition, then anyone is already welcome to conduct research and other forms of exploration projects in the said territory.
Meanwhile, reports were rife that China is also firm in claiming its rights over the South China Sea even if it was already decided in The Hague Tribunal Court that the Philippines has the historic rights over it. Because of this, Council of Councils confirmed that China is seeking for bilateral negotiations instead of the Hague ruling.
Recent reports also suggested that China had put up rocket launchers in the South China Sea to ward off divers from the other countries. Accordingly, it was also claimed that the country is putting up a military base in the said area dismissing Duterte's proposition.