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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Manila's plan for S. China Sea 'illegal'

By Zhao Shengnan  (China Daily)

08:19, February 29, 2012

BEIJING - China on Tuesday reaffirmed its indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters and protested against the Philippines' plan to explore for oil and natural gas in the area of the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a regular news briefing when responding Philippine Secretary of Energy Jose Almendras' statement on inviting foreign investors to explore two oil and gas blocks under China's jurisdiction.

"It is unlawful for any country or company to explore oil and gas in sea areas under Chinese jurisdiction without the permission of the Chinese government," Hong said.

The Philippine Department of Energy is proceeding with plans to offer 15 offshore territories for oil and gas exploration, including two areas near Palawan province that are part of China's sovereign territory.

China protested the plans to invite foreign companies to explore in the two areas last year, saying they are part of the South China Sea region in waters where it has "historic titles" and "sovereign rights and jurisdiction".

However, Philippine officials continue to maintain that the two areas in question - Area 3 and Area 4 in the licensing round - are not part of the disputed area in the South China Sea and are well within the country's territory, The Daily Tribune reported.

Almendras said on Monday that the government would start awarding exploration contracts to some companies next month, but did not say whether the permits would include Area 3 and Area 4.

Companies are allowed to submit pre-qualification documents until Wednesday.

The Department of Energy will let the Department of Foreign Affairs deal with diplomatic issues, according to the Philippine Star.

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Leave your comment14 comments

  1. Name

strongbignation at 2012-03-02175.206.233.*
China must get into Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria to kick America"s ass out. Join my calls for our nation, long live our ancestors China!!!! kill Amrericans!!! NOW!!
andrew chao at 2012-03-01125.255.45.*
china/phillipino _you all make noises over one centuary, why not sit together and reference global established/not yet established understandings to pick-up or create protocols for global disputes to consider?
HuoQiao at 2012-03-0124.118.176.*
Whether those are China"s sovereign territories or not, now-a-days if you are not strong, if you are not using double standards, if you are not willing to be the bad guys, all you have is groaning behind the great wall. Look at U.S., Lied to get into Iraq, Lied to get into Afghanistan, lied to get into Libya, and now in the process of getting into Syria. The aim is to encircle Iran, controlling middle east oils. So, unless China is willing to follow such steps, don"t groaning much.
Observer at 2012-03-01119.92.86.*
It is only China that views these waters as being their own. International laws sees them as belonging to the Philippines. The sooner China recognizes this the better.
wende at 2012-02-2971.255.84.*
Tactically it will be better to take back those islands nearest to the claimants" area. Of course, China cannot secure all the islands in South China Sea but the claimants will have even more difficulty to go further from their shores. By limiting the focus on the islands nearest to the claimants" shores, China will have the capabilities to fully secure these islands from being retaken and it will demonstrate that China is serious when it comes to sovereignty.

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