Joe Biden pledges to defend the Philippines if it is attacked in the South China Sea

Joe Biden pledges to defend the Philippines if it is attacked in the South China Sea

In a warning clearly directed at Beijing, Joe Biden pledged Thursday to defend the Philippines in the event of an “attack” in the South China Sea, during an unprecedented summit with the Japanese and Filipino leaders.

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The US President announced that “any attack on an aircraft, ship, or the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the South China Sea will lead to the implementation of the Mutual Defense Treaty” linking Washington and Manila.

A few hours later, in a joint statement, the three leaders expressed their “deep concern about the dangerous and aggressive behavior of the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea,” saying in particular that they were “concerned about the militarization of the seized territories and illegal maritime claims in this strategic region.”

President Joe Biden received Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House during an unprecedented trilateral summit, against the backdrop of serial incidents involving China in this tense maritime region.

France Press agency

“The United States’ commitment to the security of Japan and the Philippines is unwavering,” the 81-year-old Democrat said.

He spoke of the common goal of creating a “free, open, prosperous and secure” Asia-Pacific region, which is the now familiar expression used by Americans to refer to projects that China, on the contrary, considers dangerous and aggressive.

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The latter should not appreciate these comments.

The Chinese authorities have already reacted harshly to Wednesday's announcement of increased military cooperation between the United States and Japan.

“The United States and Japan, ignoring China’s serious concerns, have smeared and attacked China regarding Taiwan and maritime issues,” Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a regular press conference.

On Wednesday, US President Fumio Kishida received a lavish visit, in preparation for this tripartite meeting with Ferdinand Marcos, the son of the former Philippine dictator of the same name, who came to power in June 2022.

“The greatest strategic challenge”

The Philippine Head of State welcomed the “historic” meeting in brief statements in the presence of the press. He added: “Today's meeting gives us the opportunity to determine the future we want and the means to achieve it together.”

Earlier Thursday, the Japanese Prime Minister told the Americans that China's military actions “represent an unprecedented challenge, and the greatest strategic challenge not only to the peace and security of Japan, but to the peace and security of the entire international community.” Congress.

In recent months, tensions between China and the Philippines – which are increasingly asserting territorial claims – have reached levels not seen in years.

The reason: a series of incidents since the end of 2023 near a disputed reef in the South China Sea.

Last month, two Chinese and Filipino ships collided near Thomas Atoll II, which China calls Renai.

In this context, Joe Biden announced that the United States, the Philippines, and Japan “will work to deepen their relations in the field of maritime security.”

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He also promised closer economic and technological cooperation, especially for the development of major infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

Joe Biden has pledged to weave a tight web of alliances in the Asia-Pacific region in order to counter Chinese strategic ambitions.

Last year, he actually hosted, this time at his Camp David residence, an unprecedented trilateral summit with the leaders of Japan and South Korea.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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