Tensions in the South China Sea have been mounting, with the Chinese foreign ministry asserting that the United States has no right to interfere in issues between China and the Philippines.
These remarks come as conflicts in disputed waters of the South China Sea have led to increased friction between the nations involved.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning emphasized during a regular press briefing, “The US is not party to the South China Sea issue; it has no right to get involved in a problem between China and the Philippines.”
This statement follows the United States’ assertion that it would come to the defense of the Philippines in the face of these ongoing disputes.
The South China Sea has long been a contentious region, with China and the Philippines involved in several high-profile confrontations.
Most notably, these confrontations have occurred in the waters surrounding the Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands.
A recent incident added to the escalating tensions when a Chinese vessel collided with a Philippine boat. Manila vehemently condemned the vessel’s “dangerous blocking maneuvers.”
Mao reiterated China’s stance, warning, “The US promise of defending the Philippines must not jeopardize China’s sovereignty and maritime interests in the South China Sea, nor should it support or encourage the Philippines’ illegal territorial claims.”
The Philippine foreign ministry has yet to respond to this statement.
U.S. President Joe Biden recently emphasized the strength of America’s commitment to defending the Philippines.
Biden accused China of acting “dangerously and unlawfully” in the South China Sea during remarks at the White House.
He further clarified that any attack on Filipino aircraft, vessels, or armed forces would trigger the provisions of the Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines.
This reiterates the enduring alliance between the two countries.
Notably, the United States and the Philippines have recently revised their guidelines for the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.
These updates explicitly specify that mutual defense commitments would be activated in the event of an armed attack on either country “anywhere in the South China Sea.”
As tensions continue to simmer in the South China Sea, the diplomatic and geopolitical landscape in the region remains in flux.
China and the US have taken assertive positions regarding their respective interests and alliances in the disputed waters, making the situation increasingly complex.