The United States expressed support for the Philippines as China vessels swarm the West Philippine Sea.
In the statement released by the US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price, he called upon the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to respect the international law of the sea in the South China Sea, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and its legal obligations pursuant to the 2016 arbitral ruling.
“The reported escalating swarms of PRC vessels in the vicinity of Iroquois Reef and Sabina Shoal in the Spratly Islands interfere with the livelihoods of Philippine fishing communities, and also reflect continuing disregard for other South China Sea claimants and states lawfully operating in the region, he said.
The US also reiterated that they share the Philippines’ concerns regarding the unsafe encounter that the PRC Coast Guard initiated with Philippines naval forces in the South China Sea, as documented before the Senate of the Philippines last December 14.
The United States stands with our ally, the Philippines, in upholding the rules-based international order and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea as guaranteed under international law.
The United States also shared the Philippines’ concerns about the unsafe encounter between the Chinese Coast Guard and Philippine naval forces in the West Philippine Sea last November wherein the Chinese Coast Guard forcefully retrieved Chinese rocket debris from the Philippine military.
“The United States stands with our ally, the Philippines, in upholding the rules-based international order and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea as guaranteed under international law,” Price said.