fredag 2. april 2021

US, Philippines discuss Chinese ‘swarming’ in South China Sea

Senior officials from United States and the Philippines discussed their concerns over ongoing Chinese activities in the disputed South China Sea during a call on Wednesday, the White House said, amid reports Chinese “militia” ships had fanned out across waters where the Philippines has sovereignty.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and the Philippines National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon “agreed that the United States and the Philippines will continue to coordinate closely in responding to challenges in the South China Sea,” according to a White House statement. “Sullivan underscored that the United States stands with our Philippine allies in upholding the rules-based international maritime order, and reaffirmed the applicability of the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty in the South China Sea,” said the statement, attributed to National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne.

The discussions followed reports on Wednesday that a fleet of vessels from China’s “maritime militia”, which was the subject of a diplomatic row with Beijing last week, is now scattered in an even wider area within the Philippines’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).