Vice President Jejomar Binay, a front runner in presidential polls, recently said he would take a different road in dealing with the China problem when elected in 2016 than President Benigno Aquino III who has opposed business partnerships with China in territory claimed by both countries in dealing with the China problem.
“Personally, my feeling is we will continue to insist (on) our sovereignty over those properties but at the same time we hope we can create a situation where we can improve bilateral relations with China,” Binay told reporters during a visit to Jakarta to attend the Asia Africa summit.
“China has all the capital and we have the property so why don’t we try and develop that property as a joint venture?” he added when asked about a joint partnership with China in oil and gas exploration.
For him, this means the Philippines should continue its dialogue with China over the two countries’ competing claims over the South China Sea, which the Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea.
“‘Yung problema natin sa Tsina, nakakalungkot, pero tanggapin po natin na hindi naman po matatapos ‘yan kaagad. Siguro, ilang taon na tayong namamatay eh hindi pa rin nareresolba ‘yan,” he said in the radio interview.
(The problem with China, sadly, will not be resolved immediately. Perhaps we would have died by many years, and we wouldn’t have resolved the problem.)
China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, and its recent rapid land reclamation around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago has alarmed the Philippines, Vietnam and other claimants.