US Warns China It Will Defend Philippines in Any South China Sea Conflict

John S. McCain is participating in Co-operation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines 2014. In its 20th year, CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise series with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alonzo M. Archer/Released

The United States has warned it will defend the Philippines against any attack on its ships or aircraft in the South China Sea.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the statement on the sixth anniversary of a 2016 decision by an international arbitration tribunal that largely ruled in favor of the Philippines over the disputed maritime border. China did not participate in the arbitration.

“We re-affirm that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces … would invoke US mutual defense commitments,” Blinken said in a statement on Tuesday. The mutual defense commitments stem from a 1951 treaty between the allies.

“We call again on the People’s Republic of China to abide by its obligations under international law and cease its provocative behavior,” he added.

Read more at DW.

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