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HomechinaUS vows to defend Philippines against China’s ‘dangerous’ actions under Truman-era treaty

US vows to defend Philippines against China’s ‘dangerous’ actions under Truman-era treaty

The United States said Monday that it would defend the Philippines against potential threats under a decades-old treaty after Chinese ships blocked and collided with two Filipino vessels in the South China Sea.

The U.S. and other allies expressed alarm over the Chinese action off Second Thomas Shoal, and Washington specifically renewed a warning that it is obligated to defend the Philippines under a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty if Filipino armed forces, ships or aircraft come under an armed attack, including “those of its coast guard — anywhere in the South China Sea.”

“The United States stands with our Philippine allies in the face of the People’s Republic of China coast guard and maritime militia’s dangerous and unlawful actions obstructing an October 22 Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal,” the State Department said in a statement issued by its embassy in Manila.

The State Department blamed Chinese ships for the collisions and said China likely “violated international law by intentionally interfering with the Philippine vessels’ exercise of high seas freedom of navigation.”

The territorial conflicts have involved China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. The conflicts have been regarded as a flashpoint in the U.S.-China rivalry.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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