Washington DC, 2 May 2023 (TDI): To express the country’s unwavering support for its Philippines allies in response to “continued infringement” by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, Matthew Millar, the spokesperson for the United States (US) Department of State, recently released a statement.
The spokesperson called upon Beijing to cease its “provocative and unsafe conduct,” which has been a cause of concern for both the US and the Philippines.
“The imagery and video recently published in the media serve as a stark reminder of the PRC’s harassment and intimidation of Philippine vessels as they undertake routine patrols within their exclusive economic zone,” he said.
“This behavior by the PRC is unacceptable and goes against the principles of the rules-based international maritime order,” the State Department Spokesperson further added.
The US continues to closely monitor these interactions and urges the PRC to act in accordance with international norms and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors.
Also, the US stands with its Philippine allies in upholding the principles of a rules-based international maritime order and reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of its allies in the Pacific, which includes the South China Sea.
In accordance with the 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, the US reaffirms that an armed attack in the Pacific, including the South China Sea, on Philippines armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft, including those of the Coast Guard, would “invoke” US mutual defense commitments under Article IV.
Therefore, the US takes its commitments under the treaty seriously and will continue to work closely with its Philippine allies to ensure the stability and security of the region.
Furthermore, the US recognizes the strategic importance of the South China Sea and remains committed to upholding the principles of international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight.
Likewise, the US urges all parties to pursue peaceful means of resolving disputes and to refrain from actions that could escalate tensions in the region.
In a nutshell, the US reaffirms its commitment to its Philippine allies and the principles of a rules-based international maritime order.
The US will continue to monitor the situation in the South China Sea closely and will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of its allies and partners in the region.