U.S. State Department Threatens To Invoke U.S.-Philippines Defense Treaty Against China
Nov. 20, 2021 (EIRNS)—The U.S. State Department, in a statement issued yesterday by spokesman Ned Price, threatened U.S. military action in support of the Philippines in their territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea. The statement followed an incident two days earlier, in which Chinese Coast Guard vessels reportedly used water cannons to block the resupply of a Philippine offshore military outpost in the Second Thomas Shoal. “The United States stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of this escalation that directly threatens regional peace and stability, escalates regional tensions, infringes upon freedom of navigation in the South China Sea as guaranteed under international law, and undermines the rules-based international order,” Price said.
Also lending support to the Philippines was Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who called Philippines Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana “to discuss recent events in the South China Sea.” While not specifically issuing any threats, the Pentagon readout of the call reported that Austin “reaffirmed the strong U.S. commitment to the Philippines under the Mutual Defense Treaty.” They also “agreed on the vital importance of peace and stability in the South China Sea and pledged to stay in close contact in the coming days,” the readout concluded. “Secretary Austin reiterated that the United States will stand with our Philippine allies.”