Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a bilateral meeting on July 30 at the sidelines of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Post Ministerial Meetings in Bangkok, Thailand.
DFA/Anthony Cornista
China acknowledges Philippines' acceptance of 'perfect' MOU on oil exploration
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - August 1, 2019 - 11:21am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines' top diplomat confirmed that China has acknowledged receipt of his acceptance of Beijing's terms of reference on the proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met at the sidelines of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday.

In a tweet Wednesday, Locsin said he accepted China's terms of reference on the "perfect" memorandum of understanding (MOU) on oil and gas exploration.

In general, terms of reference define the purpose and structure of a project.

The DFA chief also said the terms of Beijing was "more faithful" than Manila's "verbose version" that he rejected.

"China acknowledged receipt of my acceptance. Any attempt to rework or reword the MOU is at the expense of basic (Philippine) interests," Locsin said.

Just last month, Locsin also tweeted that he had already accepted China's version of the terms of reference, which he described as "superior to our own."

In his bilateral meeting with Wang, Locsin affirmed the Philippines' commitment to work with ASEAN member states and China on ongoing programs and initiatives.

The Philippines serves as country coordinator for ASEAN-China dialogue relations. Beijing and Southeast Asian countries are currently negotiating a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

"Secretary Locsin lauded the continued progress in the negotiations towards an effective and substantive Code of Conduct on the South China Sea," the DFA said in a statement.

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