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Duterte: China OK with 60-40 exploration deal in Manila’s favor if arbitration case ignored

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte said China offered the Philippines the bigger share in the profit from the planned joint exploration deal in the West Philippines Sea (WPS) if it abandons its legal victory over Beijing in the arbitral case.

Duterte told reporters Tuesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping had promised that the Philippines would receive 60 percent share in the income.

“Ang China, set aside the arbitral ruling. Set aside your claim. Then allow everybody connected with the Chinese companies. They want to explore and if there is something sabi nila, ‘We would be gracious enough to give you 60 percent’. Forty lang ang kanila. That is the promise of Xi Jinping,” according to him.

When asked if such agreement with Xi would apply to areas within the Philippine exclusive economic zone, the Chief Executive said: “Kasi ‘yang exclusive economic zone is part of the arbitral ruling which we will ignore to come up with an economic activity.”

At his meeting with Xi in Beijing last August 29, Duterte raised the 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated China’s claim in the WPS. His Chinese counterpart, on one hand, refused to recognize the Philippines’ arbitral win, saying he won’t budge from their position.

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