While the U.S. is pushing Japan and Vietnam to step up military tensions in the China Seas, one traditional U.S. ally has taken a unilateral step to ease tensions with China.
The irony is that it’s a country which has just installed a tough law-and-order vigilante in its presidential palace.
From the Japan Times:
The Philippines is willing to share natural resources with Beijing in contested South China Sea areas even if it wins a legal challenge next week, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told AFP Friday.
Yasay said President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration hoped to quickly begin direct talks with China following Tuesday’s verdict, with the negotiations to cover jointly exploiting natural gas reserves and fishing grounds within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
“We can even have the objective of seeing how we can jointly explore this territory: how we can utilize and benefit mutually from the utilization of the resources in this exclusive economic zone where claims are overlapping,” Yasay said.
The Philippines, under Benigno Aquino’s previous administration, filed in 2013 a legal challenge with a U.N.-backed tribunal in The Hague contesting China’s claims to nearly all of the strategically vital sea.