skip to main content

US warns China against aggressive moves in South China Sea dispute with Philippines

The US State Department has warned China against making any aggressive moves in the South China Sea amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Manila over territorial disputes in the region.

“An armed attack against the Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, will trigger our obligations under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on 7 April, reiterating that the United States “stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China’s] maritime militia amassing at [Whitsun Reef]”.

“When it comes to this amassing, we share the concerns of our Philippine allies … and we have seen the reports that vessels have also spread to other parts of the South China Sea. We have reiterated our strong support for the Philippines and we have called on the PRC to abide by the 2016 arbitral tribunal award under the Law of the Sea Convention, which is final and legally binding on all parties,” added Price.

The US warning comes after the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila reiterated on 5 April the demand made by Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana that China “immediately withdraw its fishing vessels and maritime assets in the area and vicinity of Julian Felipe Reef and in the Philippines’ maritime zones”.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...