“An armed attack against Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea, will provoke [būtinybę] for us to fulfill our obligations under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Agreement, ”State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“Like our allies in the Philippines, we are concerned about further reports of the mobilization of PRC (People’s Republic of China) maritime militias near the Pentecostal Reef,” Price added.
On March 7, more than 200 Chinese ships were spotted at the Pentecostal Reef in the disputed South China Sea about 320 km west of the Philippine island of Palawan, but many of them later sailed to the Spratly Islands.
China is making claims to almost the entire resource-rich South China Sea. For several weeks, Beijing ignored calls from the Philippines to withdraw ships, according to Manila, that had illegally entered the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Tensions on both sides of the Taiwan Strait also increased. Beijing sees the island as part of China, and a self-governing democratic Taiwan on Wednesday said more than 15 planes from mainland China had flown into the island’s air defense zone.
Mr Price expressed concern about China’s actions.
“The United States retains the ability to resist any attempt to resort to force or other forms of coercion that could endanger the security of the people in Taiwan or the social or economic system,” he stressed.
In these words, he conveyed the Law on Relations with Taiwan, which obliges the United States to provide the island with the means to defend itself against Beijing.
U.S. President Joe Biden has vowed to firmly defend the Allies by supporting one of the few policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump, where the two share the same views. Biden has promised that China’s increasingly categorical behavior will receive a response.