The defense secretaries of the United States and the Philippines discussed measures on the incursion of Chinese ships.

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source: apnews.com

In a US Department of Defense statement, the American country has highlighted its commitment to the Philippines and its interest in "maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific" and "rooted in International Law."

The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, and his Philippine counterpart, Delfin Lorenzana, spoke on Saturday about their concerns and possible measures regarding Chinese ships' concentration in the South China Sea.

In a US Department of Defense statement, the American country has highlighted its commitment to the Philippines and its interest in "maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific" and "rooted in International Law."

Likewise, the statement noted that the US secretary has proposed "various measures to deepen defense cooperation" between both parties and has referred to the fact that they specifically seek to improve the situation in the face of "threats" in the China Sea. Southern.

On the part of the Philippines, a statement has also been issued. They endorse this cooperation and the commitment "with the Mutual Defense Treaty that involves the inherent right of the two states to self-defense, individually and collectively."

Likewise, the Philippines has considered that the justification for the incursion of Chinese ships in this area supposes "an absolute disregard" of International Law and that "the Philippines' claims have a solid basis" while the Chinese do not.

For years China has had a territorial dispute with Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines over several islands located in the South China Sea. Important hydrocarbon reserves were discovered on the continental shelf of these islands, especially in the Xisha Islands (the Paracel Islands), Nansha (the Spratly Islands), and Huangyan (the Scarborough Reef).

The US Secretary of State,  Antony Blinken, and his Philippine counterpart, Teodor Locsin, expressed in a telephone conversation their "shared concerns" about the concentration "of ships of the Chinese maritime militia" in the South China Sea.

This was pointed out by the spokesman for the State Department,  Ned Price, who specified that Blinken and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines warned about the concentration in the Whitsun reef.

"Both have reiterated their call for Beijing to abide by the 2016 arbitration ruling issued by the Convention on the Law of the Sea," Price said.

Blinken also confirmed the implementation of the 1951 US-Philippine Bilateral Defense Agreement for the South China Sea.

Likewise, both sides have welcomed "enhanced bilateral and multilateral cooperation" in the area, the spokesperson said.