"Shell and Chevron's Malampaya is running out. No it is not threatening war; we're almost there," Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted Tuesday.
DFA/Released
China not threatening war, Locsin says
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - October 29, 2019 - 12:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — China is not threatening to go to war with the Philippines over resources in the South China Sea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said.

The country's top diplomat earlier tweeted that China does not need the Philippines' oil and gas reserves in the contested waters.

In response to Locsin's tweet, British journalist Bill Hayton questioned the remarks of Locsin that China is "the only one offering help" to develop the country's resources in the South China Sea.

"The only one? Shell and Chevron are already doing it. PRC is threatening war to prevent the Philippines developing its own resources," Hayton tweeted Locsin Monday afternoon.

Locsin responded to Hayton Tuesday morning and pointed out that the Malampaya natural gas field, operated by Shell Philippines Exploration with partners Chevron Malampaya and Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation, is running out.

"Shell and Chevron's Malampaya is running out. No it is not threatening war; we're almost there," Locsin tweeted.

The top diplomat also pointed out that China does not see a problem in conducting joint exploration with the Philippines in areas in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.

"In undisputed areas, China sees no problem doing it explicitly under Philippine law; in disputed areas under my (memorandum of understanding) on Oil & Gas which spares either from conceding sovereign claims," he said.

In a separate tweet, the DFA chief said the Malampaya gas field had "long antedated the Arbitral Award" that invalidated Beijing's nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea.

In May 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that Chinese President Xi Jinping threatened to go to war if the Philippines will invoke the July 2016 arbitral award.

According to Duterte, he told his Chinese counterpart that the West Philippine Sea "is ours and we intend to drill oil there."

“I said it is ours and I will drill the oil. And I tell them do not do it because it is ours. But I have the arbitral ruling. But they said that if you force the issue, we will go to war,” Duterte said.

BILL HAYTON CHINA JOINT EXPLORATION PHILIPPINES-CHINA TIES SOUTH CHINA SEA TEODORO LOCSIN JR. WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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