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.”