US renews vow to defend PH amid China’s aggression in South China Sea
SAN FRANCISCO, United States — The United States (US) on Thursday renewed its commitment to the Philippines in defending Manila’s sovereign rights.
The commitment comes, in the face of Beijing’s growing aggression in the disputed South China Sea.
US Vice President Kamala Harris made the move during his meeting with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit here.
In a statement released by White House, it said Harris and Marcos reiterated their shared commitment in upholding international rules and norms, which cover South China Sea.
“The Vice President reiterated the United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder in defending the Philippines’ sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the South China Sea,” White House said.
Harris also reaffirmed to Marcos the defense commitment of US to Philippines under Article IV of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between the two countries.
This accord stated “an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, would invoke US mutual defense commitments.”
Harris and Marcos also shared the intent “to grow and modernize” the alliance between Manila and Washington.
In the same meeting, both leaders welcomed the conclusion of a historic 123 civil nuclear cooperation agreement, which is expected to be signed on Friday.
“This agreement will provide the legal basis for US exports of nuclear equipment and material to the Philippines, which will support American workers and businesses,” White House said.