US speaks to China about recent West PH Sea incident

The United States directly told China that it is seriously concerned about the latter’s “destabilizing” actions, particularly in the Ayungin Shoal, where the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) recently rammed a Philippine boat.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Friday, June 28 (Manila time), that State Department Deputy Secretary Kurt Campbell spoke with China’s Executive Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu about the latest incident in the waters, which earned condemnation from the international community.

Aside from voicing concern on China’s ramming of Philippine boat and confiscation of Filipino troops’ firearms that led to severe injuries, Campbell told Ma of Washington’s ironclad defense commitment to Manila.

An armed attack against Filipino troops and Philippines assets in the South China Sea would invoke the US’ Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the Philippines.

Campbell “affirmed the United States’ support for freedom of navigation and overflight and the peaceful resolution of disputes, consistent with international law,” Miller added in a readout.