Duterte: Xi Offering Gas Majority Stake if Arbitration Case Ignored

On September 10, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that Xi Jinping had offered the country a controlling stake in an energy joint venture in the South China Sea if he was willing to set aside the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling in the Philippines’ favor on its maritime territorial dispute with China. Specifically, Duterte said Xi had offered a 60% stake in the joint venture to develop gas deposits at Reed Bank, inside the Philippines’ EEZ. The claim was not denied outright by a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, who offered only that Xi “noted that cooperation would yield greater progress in exploiting the sea’s resources.”