US reaffirms support for Philippines sovereignty amidst tensions with China

US reaffirms support for Philippines sovereignty amidst tensions with China/Reuters
US reaffirms support for Philippines sovereignty amidst tensions with China/Reuters
US reaffirms support for Philippines sovereignty amidst tensions with China/Reuters
US reaffirms support for Philippines sovereignty amidst tensions with China/Reuters

US reaffirms support for Philippines sovereignty amidst tensions with China

US reaffirms support for Philippines sovereignty amidst tensions with China

US reaffirms support for Philippines sovereignty amidst tensions with China

Washington, DC [US], March 28 (ANI): US Secretary of Defence Llyod Austin has reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to Manila in defending its sovereignty while criticising China’s “dangerous” water cannon attack at the Philippine supply mission vessel on Saturday.

In a telephonic conversation between Austin and his Philippine counterpart Gilberto Teodoro, the US Secretary reiterated the US-Philippines Mutual Defence Treaty which binds both nations to support each other if a third party attacks either the Philippines or the United States.

“Secretary Austin reaffirmed the ironclad US commitment to the Philippines following the PRC Coast Guard and maritime militia’s dangerous obstruction of a lawful Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal on March 23. He emphasized US support for the Philippines in defending its sovereign rights and jurisdiction, and reiterated that the US-Philippines Mutual Defence Treaty extends to both countries’ armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft–including those of its Coast Guard–anywhere in the Pacific, to include the South China Sea,” US Department of Defence said in a statement.”

The two officials discussed the importance of preserving the rights of all nations to fly, sail, and operate safely and responsibly wherever international law allows. They highlighted that the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal Ruling is final and binding on the parties and called on the PRC to abide by its obligations under international law,” it said.Both leaders also agreed to foster bilateral and multilateral cooperation with like-minded partners in the South China Sea and also underscored both countries vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“The officials discussed historic momentum in US-Philippine defence ties and reaffirmed their mutual commitment to strengthening the U.S.-Philippine alliance, which has upheld peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region for over seventy years,” the release said. “They agreed to bolster bilateral and multilateral cooperation with like-minded partners in the South China Sea and committed to accelerate a number of bilateral initiatives to enhance information-sharing, interoperability, and capability enhancements for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

They also underscored both countries’ shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific grounded in transparency, the rule of law, respect for sovereignty, and the peaceful resolution of disputes,” it added.

The conversation came after the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs, in a statement said that Manila conveyed its “strong protest against the aggressive actions” undertaken by China’s Coast Guard and Chinese maritime militias against the Philippine mission near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea.

The department said it has also instructed its mission in Beijing to lodge a formal complaint over the incident.The move comes a day after Philippines’ National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano said the confrontation that injured three Filipino soldiers caused severe damage to the Unaizah May 4 vessel. (ANI).

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by VoM News staff and is published from syndicated feed)

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