News / Asia

US Admiral Assures Philippines of Help in Disputed Sea

FILE - U.S. Navy Admiral Jonathan Greenert
FILE - U.S. Navy Admiral Jonathan Greenert
Reuters
The United States will come to the aid of the Philippines in the event of conflict with China over disputed waters in the South China Sea, the commander of the U.S. Navy said on Thursday.

The comments by Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations of the U.S. Navy, were the most explicit statement of U.S. support for the ill-equipped Philippine military which is facing a more assertive China in disputed waters.

"Of course, we would help you,'' Greenert told students of  the National Defense College of the Philippines in response to a question about a hypothetical Chinese occupation of one of the disputed Spratly Islands.

"I don't know what that help would be specifically. I mean, we have an obligation because we have a treaty. But, I don't know in what capacity that help is.''

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea's 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mile) waters. The sea provides 10 percent of the global fisheries catch and carries $5 trillion in ship-borne trade each year.

Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam also claim parts of the sea.

The Philippines has taken its dispute with China to arbitration under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea but China is refusing to participate in the case.

China has rejected challenges to its sovereignty claims, and accused the Philippines of illegally occupying Chinese islands in the seas and of provoking tension there.

Greenert said the United States supported the Philippines' case and opposed China's aggressive behavior and would work with allies to maintain freedom of navigation.

The United States has spoken out against China's assertive moves which have in recent months included the imposition of an air defense identification zone in northeast Asia and new fishing rules in South China Sea.

"I think you may have seen some statements coming from our policy-makers exactly in that direction, you will see more of that from us,'' he said, adding he believed China wanted to be clear on where the United States stood.

Greenert said the United States was deploying more ships in the region as it rebalanced foreign policy towards Asia and the United States hoped to deploy 60 ships in the Western Pacific from about 45 to 50 now.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid