Maritime expert warns about China's concept of joint development

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 02 2018 05:34 PM

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Under China's concept of joint development with another state, Beijing retains sovereignty of the territories concerned, an analyst said Monday.

Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, warned about the implication of joint development between the two countries, as talks on energy exploration deals advance.

Batongbacal said, China's concept of "setting aside dispute and pursuing joint development," as set out by their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, means "sovereignty of the territories concerned belongs to China."

"That is a question we need to ask them and that has to be resolved in discussion. If this is pushed by China, if this is an integral element in their position, then implicitly, we'll have to accept that," he told ANC's Headstart.

"In order for any kind of joint development to work between the 2 countries, China has to give this particular element up...We also have to give that same concession: Neither of the 2 countries will assert their sovereignty over these resources, these areas," he said.

This kind of compromise is "necessary" as in most joint developments between states include a "non-prejudice clause" for it to work out, he said.