In a written statement from the Foreign Ministry, “The United States of America stands with the Philippines in the face of the continued harassment and pressure of the People’s Republic of China Coast Guard against Philippine ships, which constantly interferes with freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.” statements were included.
In the statement, which stated that the US has been closely following the patrols carried out within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines recently, “We call on Beijing to abandon its provocative and dangerous behavior.” it was said.
“The United States is committed to the protection of rules-based international maritime law and against any attack on the Philippine Armed Forces, its aircraft, its ships, including the Coast Guard, in the South China Sea in the Pacific, and Article IV of the 1951 United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” the statement said. It reaffirms that it will mobilize its mutual defense commitments under Art. expressions were used.
The coast guards of China and the Philippines met on April 21 and 23 near the reef known as the Second Thomas Shoal, which is designated among the disputed areas.
The ship belonging to the Chinese Coast Guard Command did not allow the Philippine boat, which was moving towards the Second Thomas Shoal Reef, 194 kilometers from Palawan Island in the Philippines, to dock in the area.
After the incident in question, the Second Thomas Shoal Reef was the scene of mutual patrols of the coast guard teams of the two countries, while the Chinese ships made “dangerous” maneuvers against the Filipinos.
South China Sea dispute
The South China Sea has been the subject of sovereignty disputes since riparian countries gained their independence after the Second World War.
China claims sovereignty over 80 percent of the South China Sea, with the map it first published in 1947. Coastal neighboring countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia also claim the region.
The USA, as well as the countries in the region, oppose China’s construction of military bases on the disputed islands in the region and keeping civilian fleets for a long time.
It is observed that the USA has recently increased its military patrol and navigation activities, which it calls “Freedom of Navigation Operations” (FONP), against the increasing presence of China.