News / Asia

Clinton Reaffirms US Commitment to Philippines Amid Islands Dispute

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (r) and Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario at the State Department in Washington, Jun 23, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (r) and Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario at the State Department in Washington, Jun 23, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday reaffirmed the U.S. defense commitment to the Philippines amid rising tensions between Manila and Beijing over disputed islands in the South China Sea. Clinton met with Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario who said his country is prepared to stand up to “aggressive actions” in its neighborhood.

Clinton emphasised  the United States’ determination to see a peaceful political solution to the multi-nation dispute over South China Sea islands and sea lanes.

But she also pointedly stressed the U.S. commitment to the Philippines under their now 60-year-old mutual defense treaty.

The Secretary met her Philippines counterpart against a backdrop of rising tensions between the Philippines and China, and also Vietnam and Beijing, over the nearly two million square kilometer ocean area that includes the Spratley and Paracel Islands, and may have vast oil and gas resources.

Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also have varying claims in the region that conflict with China’s assertion of control to virtually the entire area.

At a press event with del Rosario, Clinton read a long statement reaffirming U.S. support for a diplomatic solution - and urging restraint and an end to provocative actions by all concerned parties.

She said the defense treaty is a pillar of U.S.-Philippines relations and regional stability, while declining specific comment on what Washington would do in the event of a Chinese attack on Filipino navy vessels.

“The United States honors our mutual defense treaty and our strategic alliance with the Philippines," said Clinton. "I’m not going to discuss hypothetical events. But I want to underscore our commitment to the defense of the Philippines.”

Foreign Secretary del Rosario, for his part, said that while the Philippines is a small country it will stand up stand up to aggression, saying Chinese “intrusions” in areas claimed by the Philippines are becoming more frequent.

“Since February 25th, we actually have noted as many as nine intrusions of different varieties, but clearly becoming more aggressive and more frequent," said del Rosario. "We have,  of course, responded to these intrusions in term of filing diplomatic protests. And we have gotten a response which is in our view not acceptable. These are responses that where China is claiming that the South China Sea is totally within their sovereignty.”

Clinton said the United States will take up the issue with Beijing this weekend, when Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell holds a political dialogue with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai in Hawaii.

The Chinese official said Wednesday the United States is not a party to the dispute and should leave the matter to the various claimants.

Secretary Clinton, however, said the United States has a “national interest” in freedom of navigation, respect for international law and unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea.

She noted that the United States and the Philippines will hold joint naval exercises at the end of this month in waters west of Manila and near the contested area.

She also said the United States is prepared to consider providing the Philippines, which has limited naval capabilities, with affordable “additional assets” to help provide for the country’s defense. Del Rosario also met in Washington with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid