United States reiterates warning to China against attack on Philippine forces


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin at the State Department in Washington, United States, July 1, 2021. REUTERS / Ken Cedeno / Pool

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) – The United States on Sunday reiterated a warning to China that an attack on Philippine armed forces in the South China Sea would trigger a 1951 US-Philippine mutual defense treaty.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the comment in a written statement marking the fifth anniversary of an arbitral tribunal ruling rejecting China’s vast land claims in the South China Sea.

China – which claims most of the water inside a so-called Nine Dash Line, which is also disputed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam – reiterated on Friday that Beijing did not have accepted the decision. Read more

“The United States reaffirms its policy of July 13, 2020 on maritime claims in the South China Sea,” said Blinken, referring to former President Donald Trump’s administration rejection of China’s resource claims offshore in most of the South China Sea.

“We also reaffirm that an armed attack on the Philippine armed forces, state ships or planes in the South China Sea would invoke the United States’ mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the US Mutual Defense Treaty. Filipino in 1951, ”added Blinken.

This article of the treaty says in part that “each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area against either Party would be dangerous to its own peace and security and declares that it would act to deal with it. to common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes.

Blinken has made this point before, most notably in an April 8 conversation with the Philippine Foreign Minister in which the State Department said it “reaffirmed the applicability” of the treaty to the Sea of Southern China.

Arshad Mohammed reporting; Editing by Peter Cooney

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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