ABUJA: The United States on Friday accused China of an escalation towards the Philippines and warned that an armed assault would invite a US response after an incident in disputed waters.
“The USA stands with our ally, the Philippines, within the face of this escalation that immediately threatens regional peace and stability,” State Division spokesman Ned Value mentioned in Abuja, the place Secretary of State Antony Blinken was travelling.
The motion “escalates regional tensions, infringes upon freedom of navigation within the South China Sea as assured below worldwide regulation and undermines the rules-based worldwide order.”
He warned that any “armed assault on Philippine public vessels” would invoke the 1951 US-Philippines treaty through which Washington is obliged to defend its ally.
The Philippines mentioned the Chinese language Coast Guard on Tuesday fired a water cannon towards boats delivering provides to Filipino marines, forcing them to halt their mission.
The incident got here because the Filipinos have been travelling to Second Thomas Shoal within the Spratly Islands, considered one of a collection of hotly contested areas within the South China sea.
The Philippines earlier voiced “outrage, condemnation and protest”.
China defended its actions, saying that it acted to “safeguard China’s sovereignty” because the Filipinos had not been in touch on their actions.