Philippines: China warns U.S.

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the United States (U.S.) does
not have the right to get involved in problems between China and the Philippines.

The ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said this at a press conference as tensions simmer over conflicts in disputed waters of
the South China Sea.

When asked about the U.S. saying it will defend the Philippines, he said: “The U.S. is not party to the South China Sea issue. It has no right to get involved in a problem between China and the Philippines”.

China and the Philippines have had several high-profile confrontations in the South China Sea, most notably in disputed waters
around the Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands.

Earlier on Sunday, a Chinese vessel collided with a Philippine boat, with Manila condemning “in the strongest degree”
the “dangerous blocking manoeuvres” of the vessel.

“The U.S. promise of defending the Philippines must not hurt China’s sovereignty and maritime interests in the South China Sea, and it also must not enable and encourage the illegal claims of the Philippines,” Mao said.

A spokesperson for the Philippine foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday at the White House that America’s commitment to Philippines defence
remains “iron-clad,” after accusing China of acting “dangerously and unlawfully” in the South China Sea.

“Any attack on the Filipino aircraft, vessels or armed forces would invoke our Mutual Defence Treaty with the
Philippines,” Biden said in remarks during a joint meeting with Australia’s Prime Minister.

The United States and the Philippines recently agreed on new guidelines for their 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty.

The guidelines now specifically mention that mutual defence commitments would be invoked if there were an armed attack on either country “anywhere in the South China Sea”.

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