The United States has accused China of undermining peace in the South China Sea following an incident involving Philippine ships. The United States has warned the Chinese to intervene in the attack on Philippine ships.
On Thursday, the Philippines accused the Chinese Coast Guard of deploying water cannons against Philippine supply ships. They were on their way to repatriate Philippine soldiers at the Second Thomas Coral, which is celebrated by both the Philippines and China.
U.S. State Department spokesman Nate Price said the United States supports its ally, the Philippines. According to the Americans, the Chinese are responsible for an expansion that directly threatens peace and stability in the region.
The United States cites an arbitral award since 2016 in which the Chinese claim on the Atoll in question was rejected. “The People’s Republic of China and the Philippines must legally comply with that decision. China should not interfere in legal Philippine operations in the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone.
In addition, an armed attack on Philippine ships would require US military action, the department warns, adding that under the 1951 US-Philippine agreement, Washington was obliged to protect its ally.
“The United States strongly believes that the actions of the People’s Republic of China to assert their comprehensive and illegal claims in the South China Sea are undermining peace and security in the region,” Price said. The strategically important sea has been under increasing tension this year following the discovery of hundreds of Chinese ships near the Whitsunday Reef, one of the most controversial areas at sea.
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