The Philippines has pulled the plug on the proposed joint exploration with China in disputed waters of the South China Sea after several years of negotiations with Beijing.

The Manila administration initiated the termination of the talks, Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr revealed. Locsin added that both parties tried to negotiate for three years and got as far as constitutionally possible.

However, another step forward would have risked a "constitutional crisis".

“That explains the sudden pull back on my part which unravelled three years of sincere hard work on the part of China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and me.