US deeply concerned about China's aggression in South China Sea: “We will continue to act where international law allows”

Philippine and Chinese ships collide in latest clash over South China Sea atoll

Admiral John Aquilino, The head of the US Indo-Pacific Command said on Tuesday “with great care” On China's encroachment on Philippine forces near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

The Chinese Coast Guard has repeatedly clashed with Philippine patrol vessels The second was Thomas Scholl, occupied the Philippines. Last month, several Filipino sailors were injured when a Chinese vessel rammed a small Philippine vessel and two more Chinese coast guard vessels used high-pressure water to break the windshield of a Philippine vessel.

When asked if it was a submerged rock Spratly Islands This is the most dangerous flash point in his command area. Aquiline Speaking at a forum at the Lowy Institute, an international policy think tank based in Sydney, he said: “I'm very concerned about what's happening at the second Thomas Shoal.”

“I'm very concerned about the direction it's going to go.”Aquilino said. “These actions are dangerous, illegal and destabilizing the region.”

“What's next, how far do you want to go in that area?” – asked Aquilino.

US Indo-Pacific Command Commander Admiral John C. Aquilino speaks at the IISS Special Conference held in Singapore. REUTERS/Caroline Chia/File photo

The United States, Japan, the Philippines and Australia held their first joint four-way drills in Philippine waters in the South China Sea on Sunday, which they said were aimed at protecting freedom of navigation and overflight in the region disputed by China.

Aquilino said the joint exercise demonstrated the countries' ability to operate safely, effectively and legally in the region.

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“Those kinds of events and things are what we need to do to demonstrate that strength among like-minded allies and partners and we will continue to do so where international law allows.”Aquilino said.

China's military said on Sunday it had conducted air and sea patrols and said it was under control of all activities that “disrupt the South China Sea”, an apparent response to naval exercises by the US and its allies.

For his part, the Prime Minister Japan, Fumio KishidaThis came Monday WashingtonThe US capital was an official visit and the first role a Japanese ruler had not made in nine years Trilateral Summit with the Philippines and the United States.

“I have come to Washington, the capital of America. “I will now begin my official visit, the first by a Japanese prime minister in nine years,” Kishida said, according to a statement from his office.

Likewise, the spokesman White House Homeland Security, John KirbyThe visit comes to “celebrate” bilateral ties focused on “peace and prosperity”, as well as pledge to recognize the importance of the alliance between the two countries to build a “secure” Indo-Pacific region.

Security in Indo-Pacific That's because next Thursday, the US president, Joe BidenYou will receive White House His Philippine counterpart, Ferdinand Marcos JrAnd Kishida will be the first trilateral meeting between these countries.

(With information from AP)

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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