The United States warned China on Wednesday against maneuvers deemed increasingly aggressive by the Philippines and Taiwan, reminding Beijing of the obligations binding Washington to its Asian partners.
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“An armed attack on Philippine military forces, ships or planes in the Pacific, including the South China Sea, will trigger our obligations under the US-Philippine Treaty of Mutual Defense,” the door told reporters. – Speech by State Department, Ned Price.
“We share the concerns of our Filipino allies over reports of an ongoing gathering of PRC (People’s Republic of China) maritime forces near Whitsun Reef,” Ned Price said.
About 220 Chinese boats had been detected by the Philippine Coast Guard on March 7 near this disputed reef located about 320 kilometers west of the Philippine island of Palawan, but most have since scattered throughout the archipelago of Spratleys.
China, which claims almost all of this resource-rich South China Sea, has refused for weeks to withdraw its ships, which Manila claims have illegally entered its exclusive economic zone.
Tensions have also emerged with Taiwan, which Beijing says belongs to China. The island reported that an additional 15 Chinese planes had passed through its defense air zone.
Ned Price expressed the “concern” of American diplomacy over these maneuvers: “The United States maintains its ability to resist any force or other form of coercion that would endanger the security or the social system or economic life of the people of Taiwan. “
The spokesperson for the State Department referred in these terms to an American law defining relations with Taiwan, the “Taiwan Relations Act”, which obliges Washington to provide the island with the means to defend itself against Beijing.
US President Joe Biden has promised to firmly defend the allies of the United States and, rare in common with his predecessor Donald Trump, has been in favor of vigorously rejecting Chinese tendencies.
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