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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian discussed the proposed oil and gas development projects between China and the Philippines in a new year’s reception Thursday (January 2).

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said Locsin and other officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs visited Huang’s residence upon his invitation.

The two sides discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including oil and gas development as well as major infrastructure projects,” the Chinese Embassy said.

Since 2020 marks the 45th year of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines, Locsin and Huang vowed to “work jointly in the spirit of ‘seizing the day and living it to the full’ to push for further substantive progress in bilateral cooperation across the board.”

China and the Philippines have been in talks for oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea. In August last year, both sides signed a joint Terms of Reference that outlined how discussions would progress regarding the project.

However, specific details have yet to be released about the agreement.

Huang greeted Locsin during their meeting and expressed his appreciation for his contribution to China-Philippines relations.

In return, the Chinese embassy said Locsin was pleased to accept Huang’s invitation to celebrate new year at his residence.

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