As tensions rise between China and the Philippines over islands and resource rights in the South China Sea, the Biden administration has drawn a line in the sand.
In response to standoffs between Chinese and Philippine coast guard ships within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ), a State Department spokesman said on April 29 that any firing on Philippine Coast Guard vessels would activate a defense treaty.
“The United States stands with our Philippine allies in upholding the rules-based international maritime order and reaffirms that an armed attack in the Pacific, which includes the South China Sea, on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft, including those of the Coast Guard, would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S. Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” the statement read….

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