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US says it will defend Philippine ships against Chinese threats

Written by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

The Department of State has reaffirmed this attack on Philippine ship in South China Sea will invoke US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty following a near miss between Chinese and Philippine coast guard vessels in disputed waters.

The clash took place on April 23 when Manila says a larger Chinese vessel blocked a Philippine patrol boat after warning it to leave the area near Second Thomas Shoal, a Philippine-controlled reef in the islands Spratly also claimed by China, Taiwan and Taiwan. vietnam

Image via Philippine Coast Guard/AP

The incident received much publicity, as the Philippine Coast Guard had reporters on board during the patrol, including reporters from The Associated Press. According to AP, the Chinese vessel came within 120 to 150 feet of the Philippine vessel, which had to reverse its engines to avoid a collision.

For its part, Beijing blamed the Philippine ship for the incident and said Manila staged the near-collision for the press. “

“It must be emphasized that the Philippine ships entered the waters with press personnel on board. This makes it clear that it was a premeditated provocation designed to start friction, blame China and encourage the incidentChinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

The State Department issued a statement saying the US “stands with the Philippines in the continued violation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard’s freedom of navigation in the high seas South China”.

The statement went on to promise that the US was ready to go to war with China if a Philippine ship was attacked.

US says it will defend Philippine ships against Chinese threats

“The United States stands with our Philippine allies in maintaining the rules-based international maritime order and reaffirms that an armed attack in the Pacific, including the South China Sea, on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft, including those in the Pacific. The Coast Guard would invoke the mutual defense commitments of the United States under Article IV of the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951,” the statement said.

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