Needless to say, Beijing isn't happy.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Tuesday that "it is illegal for any country, government or company, without the Chinese government's permission, to develop oil and natural gas in waters under Chinese jurisdiction," China Daily reports.
But the Philippines maintains that all of the 15 areas are within Philippine territory.
-United Press International
Two of the petroleum blocks to be exploited are near Reed Bank, where Chinese warships threatened to ram a Philippine survey vessel last year, setting off the current round of tension in the resource-rich region.