What Happened: The Philippines and China will hopefully reach a deal on a joint oil and gas exploration agreement in the South China Sea within two months, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Aug. 28, according to the Manila Bulletin.
Why It Matters: Disagreements over sovereignty have previously scuttled joint exploration agreements between Beijing and Manila, and concerns over Chinese influence could prompt a domestic backlash against the project in the Philippines.
Background: Cayetano previously said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had approved a proposal for a technical working group to draft a proposal for joint exploration by September.
- Philippines, China: Pursuing a Rocky Partnership in the South China Sea (March 2, 2018)
- Cooperation as a Means to All Ends in the South China Sea (Sept. 26, 2016)
- Philippines: China Offers Possible Concession On Scarborough Shoal (Aug. 29, 2016)