The Philippines will be defended against ‘armed attack’ in the disputed South China Sea, according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The senior diploma issued Washington’s starkest warning yet against China’s claimed ownership of the strategic waterway. Speaking in Manila on Friday after meeting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Pompeo said Beijing’s artificial islands in the water were also a threat. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference in the Philippines on Friday where for the first time a US official has announced the country’s intent to support its poorly-armed ally in the event of an attack over disputed waterways ‘China’s island-building and military activities in the South China Sea threaten your sovereignty, security and therefore economic livelihood, as well as that of the United States,’ Pompeo said at a joint news conference. ‘As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack of Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defence obligations under Article 4 of our Mutual Defence Treaty.’ Pompeo’s comments marked the first time any US official had publicly stated Washington’s intent to defend its poorly-armed ally specifically in the flashpoint sea. A 1951 US-Philippine… Read full this story
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