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Philippine South China Sea Oil Contracts ‘Within’ Territory

The Philippines says oil blocks it plans to offer to international exploration companies later this month in the South China Sea are “well within” its territory, after tensions escalated over drilling rights in the area.

Two of the 15 blocks the nation plans to offer lie within areas also claimed by China, according to a map it presented to the United Nations in 2009. China has repeatedly said it will oppose any attempt to drill for oil in waters where it claims jurisdiction. The Philippines and Vietnam have both protested Chinese harassment of oil survey vessels in the past two months.