US official confirms talks with PH over West Philippine Sea incident

US official confirms talks with PH on China’s fresh sea aggression

/ 10:35 AM March 06, 2024

US official confirms talks with PH over West Philippine Sea incident

Flags of the Philippines and the United States. STOCK IMAGE

MANILA, Philippines — A United States official confirmed ongoing talks with the Philippines following China’s recent aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

In a press conference on March 5, US Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller was asked if they are in discussions with the Philippines regarding China’s dangerous maneuvers that led to the collision of Chinese and Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal.


“So we are in discussions with the Philippines about this matter. The latest actions, which are just the most recent in a series of provocative actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), demonstrate once again a reckless disregard by the PRC for the safety of Filipinos and also for international law,” said Miller.


“By impeding the safe operation of Philippine vessels carrying provisions to Filipino service members stationed at Second Thomas Shoal, the PRC interfered in lawful Philippine maritime operations and in Philippine vessels’ exercise of high-speed – of high-seas freedom of navigation. And I will just say that the United States stands with our Philippine allies in the face of these dangerous and unlawful actions,” he added.

Miller, however, did not give a categorical answer when he was asked if China’s recent actions could initiate the US Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines.

“Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft, including those of its coast guard, anywhere in the South China Sea,” he just stated.

The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday afternoon summoned Chinese Deputy Chief of Mission Zhou Zhiyong to convey the Philippine government’s protest against aggressive actions undertaken by China in Ayungin Shoal.

The Philippines demanded that Chinese vessels immediately vacate Ayungin Shoal.

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TAGS: United States, West Philippine Sea

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