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Spratlys > News > English News > July 2005

Category: @News

Joint oil exploration agreed on

BEIJING, July 4 (Reuters) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao agreed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai on Monday on joint oil exploration with the Philippines in disputed sections of the South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency said. Wen met Khai on the sidelines of a summit in southwestern China on economic cooperation in the greater Mekong region, and said he hoped work would start soon. "Wen said he hoped that oil companies from the three countries would start joint prospecting (in) the South China Sea as soon as possible," Xinhua reported. State oil companies from the three countries signed a deal in March for a three-year joint marine study in the South China Sea, including the disputed Spratly Islands. China, Taiwan and Vietnam each claim the whole of the Spratly archipelago, while Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines claim parts. It was not clear from the Xinhua report if the agreement between Wen and Khai merely reaffirmed the previous deal or took it a step further.