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US State Dept reiterates support for PH in the face of “repeated harassment” of China in the South China Sea
US State Dept reiterates support for PH in the face of “repeated harassment” of China in the South China Sea
US State Dept reiterates support for PH in the face of “repeated harassment” of China in the South China Sea
by Karen Ow-Yong23 October 2023
Photo Courtesy: US State Department

MANILA – The United States of America reiterated its support for the Philippines as it faces “repeated harassment” from China’s Coast Guard (CCG) and its maritime militia in the South China Sea.

In a statement released by the Office of the Spokesperson of the U.S. State Department, it said that “the U.S. stands with its Philippine allies in the face of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard and maritime militia’s dangerous and unlawful actions obstructing an October 22 Philippine resupply mission to the Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) in the South China Sea.”

The statement adds that China’s Coast Guard and maritime militia “violated international law by intentionally interfering with the Philippine vessels’ exercise of high seas freedom of navigation”.

The US Embassy in Manila earlier released a statement condemning China’s latest actions or what it calls “disruption” of the resupply mission of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to Ayungin Shoal Sunday morning.


In a post on X (formerly Twitter), US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay L. Carlson said that “the United States condemns PRC’s latest disruption of the legal Philippine resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal”.

Carlson adds that such actions are “putting the lives of Filipino service members at risk” and reiterates the “United States stand with friends, partners, and allies in protecting Philippine sovereignty and in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

On Sunday morning, a Chinese vessel collided with a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) chartered boat tasked to deliver supplies for Filipino troops in Ayungin Shoal.

According to the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS), the incident happened at 0604H Sunday morning, when a China Coast Guard vessel (CCGV 5203) made “dangerous blocking maneuvers” causing it to collide with an AFP-contracted indigenous resupply boat Unaiza May 2 (UM2), which “imperiled the safety of the crew of UM2.”


Despite the incident, the NTF-WPS confirms that the routine Rotation and Resupply (RORE) mission has successfully delivered supplies to Filipino troops stationed on BRP Sierra Madre by a second Philippine vessel, the Unaiza May 1 (UM1).

The U.S. State Department mentioned that China’s actions, particularly “blocking” and “impeding” the delivery of much needed supplies from reaching service members stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal, has jeopardized and undermined the stability of the region.

It added that such actions, together with China targeting Philippine Coast Guard vessels using water cannons on August 5 are the latest examples of “provocative PRC measures in the South China Sea” to enforce its expansive and unlawful maritime claims, reflecting “disregard for other states lawfully operating in the region.”

The United States then affirms the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, particularly that of Article IV, which states that “the MDT extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft, including those of its Coast Guard – anywhere in the South China Sea.”

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