US to help the Philippines in territorial dispute vs. China

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 13, 2014

New York – The US Navy’s Admiral Jonathan Greenert made the most explicit statement of support for the Philippines.

Greenert says the US will come to the aid of the Philippines in the event of conflict with China over the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

In a response to a question about a hypothetical Chinese invasion of the hotly contested Spratly Islands, Greenert told students of the National Defense College of the Philippines that the US has the Philippines’ back.

“Of course, we would help you,” Greenert said. “I don’t know what that help would be specifically. I mean, we have an obligation because we have a treaty. But, I don’t know in what capacity that help is.”

Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines claim parts of the South China Sea that China has been claiming ownership.

The Philippines has taken this territorial dispute with China to a peaceful arbitration, but China has refused to participate and rejected the case filed under the UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS).

China is now accusing the Philippines of illegally occupying its supposedly owned islands and has been provoking tensions in the region.
Greenert says the US support the Philippines’ peaceful arbitration case while opposing China’s aggressive behavior.

Greenert said, “Aggressive behavior outside international norms, not using established procedures for international, is contrary to, I’ll call it ‘good order’ here. And we have to manage. We oppose it.”

According to the US Admiral, US policymakers will be articulating their stand on China’s aggressive stance in the coming days.

“I think we stand by, it is about freedom of navigation,” Greenert said. “I think that’s still the centerpiece of it. But I think the preponderance and collection of activity by China has caused us to want to be more clear on where we stand on this.”

As the US re-balances its foreign policy towards Asia, Greenert says the US hopes to deploy 60 ships in the Western Pacific region from its current 45 to 50 ships.

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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  • Kikay Pang0
    13 February 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Americans rescued Phil. in many different events , is it deserving to defend a small island with no intention to enhance the quality of the govt.and its surroundings but to collect lifetime welfare assistance from their closest only ally the US.