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China has stated that the United States should refrain from intervening in disputes concerning the South China Sea between China and the Philippines.
During a routine press briefing, Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, remarked, “The US is not a party to the South China Sea issue, it has no right to get involved in a problem between China and the Philippines.”
Additionally, Ning emphasized that US assurances to safeguard the Philippines “must not hurt China’s sovereignty and maritime interests in the South China Sea,” while not endorsing the Philippines’ “illegal claims.”
This statement comes in the wake of recent conflicts between China and the Philippines, especially following a collision last Sunday involving vessels from both nations in the contested waters around the Second Thomas Shoal, a segment of the Spratly Islands. The Philippines expressed criticism, denouncing the “dangerous blocking maneuvers” by the Chinese vessel.
President Biden reaffirmed America’s support for the Philippines, declaring that the commitment to the nation’s defense is “iron-clad.” He also cautioned against any aggressive actions, stating, “Any attack on the Filipino aircraft, vessels, or armed forces will invoke … our Mutual Defence Treaty with the Philippines.”
According to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, the United States would defend the Philippines in the event of an armed assault on either nation “anywhere in the South China Sea.”