US urges China to end ‘provocative’ behavior in South China Sea

July 12 (Reuters) – Washington will defend the treaty-allied Philippines if its forces come under attack in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, urging China to respect international law and cease “provocative behavior ” in the busy waterway.

Blinken made the comments Monday, on the sixth anniversary of an international court ruling that struck down China’s sweeping claims to the South China Sea, a channel for around $3 trillion in trade. sea ​​every year.

“We reaffirm that an armed attack on the Armed Forces of the Philippines … would invoke the mutual defense commitments of the United States,” Blinken said in a statement, referring to the provisions of a mutual defense treaty between the Philippines. allies dating back to 1951.

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“We again call on the People’s Republic of China to uphold its obligations under international law and cease its provocative behavior,” he added.

The statement came the day Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in the Indonesian capital that nations in the region should avoid being used as “chess pieces” by world powers. Read more

China’s claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, citing what it says are historical maps, puts it at odds with some countries in the group, who say the claim is inconsistent with international law.

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Reporting by Shivam Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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