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AsianOil: China, Philippines strike deal on South China Sea

China and the Philippines have agreed to resume talks on joint exploration for oil and gas in the disputed portion of the South China Sea, a month after Manila broke off negotiations.

The two countries agreed on January 5 to set up a direct communications channel between their foreign ministries to handle the dispute peacefully. In addition to exploration talks, the two sides will also discuss co-operation on areas such as solar, wind, electric vehicles (EVs) and nuclear power, their governments said.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said his country intended to search for oil in the contested area alone in December, after it failed to reach a joint agreement with Beijing. The South China Sea is one of the most heavily contested areas in the world in terms of territorial ambitions, with six nations – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam – having claims that run counter to what Beijing considers to be its own maritime territory.

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