US, Philippines reaffirm alliance after China’s dangerous maneuvers in WPS
October 24, 2023 | 12:10pm
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and the United States reaffirmed their commitment to their alliance following China’s dangerous maneuvers during a resupply mission in the West Philippine Sea.
According to a White House readout, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Año after Chinese vessels hit a Philippine resupply boat and a Philippine Coast Guard vessel.
“Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Año reaffirmed the enduring alliance and friendship between our nations and discussed upcoming U.S.-Philippine engagements and ways to further strengthen our close partnership,” the statement read.
“Mr. Sullivan emphasized the ironclad U.S. alliance commitments to the Philippines under the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, which extends to armed attacks on Philippine public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces—to include those of its Coast Guard—in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea,” it added.
Manila and Beijing have traded blame over Sunday’s incidents near Ayungin Shoal, with both sides filing diplomatic protests and releasing videos to support their accusations.
The Presidential Communications Office said Monday that the incidents are “being taken seriously at the highest level of government.” President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. also ordered the PCG to conduct an investigation into the maneuvers of Chinese vessels.
No Filipino crew members were injured, but one of the supply boats was damaged and forced to turn back. A second supply boat reached the BRP Sierra Madre and unloaded its cargo.
The Department of National Defense said Tuesday that it acknowledges the statements issued by the governments of France, South Korea and Japan supporting the Philippines.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered Monday the PCG to conduct an investigation into the maneuvers of Chinese vessels. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with report from Agence France-Presse