US vows to defend Pacific ally from China

America’s high diplomat warned that any Chinese language assault on the Philippines can be met with a forceful response

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged Beijing to rescind its claims to the South China Sea and settle for a 2016 territorial ruling in favor of the Philippines, additionally pledging a US army response ought to China perform an “armed assault” on the island nation. 

In an announcement issued on Tuesday by the US Embassy in Manila, Blinken stated China should “abide by its obligations beneath worldwide regulation and stop its provocative conduct” within the South China Sea, citing a previous resolution by a Hague tribunal which rejected Beijing’s broad claims to the area. 

He went on to say that any “armed assault on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or plane within the South China Sea would invoke US mutual protection commitments” beneath a 1951 treaty, insisting the ocean stay “free and open.”

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Beijing warns of Southeast Asia nations turning into ‘chess items’

Requested concerning the feedback throughout a Wednesday press briefing, Chinese language International Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin referred to as the tribunal resolution “unlawful, null and void” whereas claiming Washington has used the ruling to “drive a wedge between regional international locations and undermine peace and stability.”

“China neither accepts nor acknowledges it and can by no means settle for any declare or motion primarily based on the award. By doing so, we’re upholding the worldwide rule of regulation,” he stated, calling on the US to “to respect China’s sovereignty, rights and pursuits within the South China Sea, cease stirring up bother and cease utilizing the South China Sea difficulty to sow discord.”

Beijing didn’t participate within the 2016 tribunal, which ended up siding with Manila after it contested Chinese language claims to the ocean. A number of different nations additionally keep conflicting claims within the area, together with Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

Philippine International Secretary Enrique Manalo weighed in on the matter on Tuesday, deeming the ruling “indeniable” and stating that the newly elected nationwide authorities would insist on its enforcement. 

READ MORE: China says it ‘drove away’ US destroyer

“We firmly reject makes an attempt to undermine it… even erase it from regulation, historical past and our collective reminiscences,” he stated, although didn’t single out China by title.

Since US President Joe Biden took workplace final 12 months, the Pentagon has carried out near-monthly transits of the South China Sea, together with the contested Taiwan Strait, deploying a wide range of warships to the realm regardless of repeated warnings from Beijing. The latest sail-through got here on Wednesday, with China claiming it “drove away” an American guided-missile destroyer after it “illegally trespassed into Chinese language territorial waters.”