The Philippines said it could seek the help of the United States in a veiled threat against China over the stand-off in the South China Sea.
Manila has repeatedly demanded Beijing for the immediate withdrawal of hundreds of Chinese vessels in the disputed waters. China has ignored the call insisting ownership of the South China Sea.
“We are continuously in talks with the U.S. on the matter of mutual defense. Both parties are committed to undertake their obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty so that neither stands alone in these issues involving the two states’ inherent right of self-defense,” Department of National Defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong.
The United States warned China against its increasingly aggressive moves toward Philippines and Taiwan, reminding Beijing of Washington's obligations to its partners.
"An armed attack against the Philippines' armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, will trigger our obligations under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty," US State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
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