The first visit of the United States Secretary Michael Pompeo to the country acts a great chance for the United States to better know the country’s independent foreign policy, a political analyst said.
Pompeo arrives in the Philippines recently and meet with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and pay a courtesy call on President Rodrigo R. Duterte before it leaves to Hanoi, Vietnam.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo replied in the affirmative on Friday.
“As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack on any Philippine forces, aircraft, or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense obligations under Article 4 of our Mutual Defense Treaty,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said the two secretaries would discuss issues of mutual interest with the possibility of undertaking the recommended review of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philipines and United States.
Days before the visit of US Secretary, China accused Washington of
stirring up trouble with its planned increase in maritime operations in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
According to Chinese Defense ministry spokesman, the country will bravely oppose the plan, describing it as a violation of its sovereignty and security, as well as displaying a disregard for international laws and rules.
“The Chinese military will take resolute measures to safeguard national sovereignty and security, and to safeguard peace and stability in the region,” he added.
In January, the USS McCampbell sailed near the Paracel Islands and recently the USS Spruance and the USS Preble sailed near Mischief Reef in the Spratlys.
The US has also expected to carry out joint exercises in the region this year with the British Royal Navy.