US to Defend Philippines Amid New Clashes With China

US to Defend Philippines Amid New Clashes With China

( – On June 17, Chinese naval forces confronted two Philippine supply boats transporting food and other provisions to their fellow navy detachment aboard a warship that had been grounded for some time on the Second Thomas Shoal. The confrontation resulted in injuries to several Filipino sailors and damage to their boats.

The United States, as promised in a treaty, issued a warning to China, pledging to defend the Philippines in any conflict with China. As China claims the South China Sea as their territory, President Biden warned China that the US will defend the Philippines in any conflict.

Each country blames the other for the current hostilities, as the Chinese naval forces have been monitoring the area for the last year as the territorial standoff continues. The dispute over the territory is considered a possible flashpoint in the Asian conflict that could intensify, drawing the US against China into a much larger showdown.

Kurt Campbell, the deputy Secretary of State for the US, discussed the confrontation in a phone call with the Philippine counterpart of the US SoS, Maria Theresa Lazaro. They both came to the conclusion that the alarming actions of the Chinese naval forces were a threat to the stability and peace of the region, according to Matthew Miller, the spokesman for the State Department.

During the phone call, Campbell proclaimed that the US would abide by their treaty, the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951. It calls for both Manila and Washington to come to each other’s defense in any major conflict. He assured Lazaro that the treaty covers any attacks on Philippine public or military vessels or aircraft in the South China Sea area, according to Miller.

The Philippine government has a task force that monitors any disputes in the territory. They condemned the Chinese naval forces for their perilous maneuvers that caused disruption to their routine delivery of supplies by ramming the supply boats and towing them. The food and water supplies were for the Filipinos aboard the boat, the BPR Sierra Madre, grounded on the shoal.

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