Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Philippine diplomat tells China not to question military alliance with US

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez on Tuesday told China never to question the military alliance between Manila and Washington as the two governments have had such cooperation under the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). Instead, Romualdez said Beijing must question itself what its vessels and militias are doing in the Philippine territories as they continued their incursion into Ayungin Shoal and other parts of the West Philippine Sea. “The question we should ask China is why are you creating tension in our territory,” the country’s top diplomat in Washington said in an interview with CNN Philippines. “We should ask the question to them. We have been doing this as part of our MDT, which has been in place since 1951. And now they are questioning us with the kind of relationship that we have with the US,” he added. (https://mb.com.ph/2023/04/04/ph-diplomat-tells-china-not-to-question-ph-us-military-alliance) Prior to the announcement of four new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites in the Philippines where American troops will have access to, China already criticized the Philippine-US military alliance. Beijing said the partnership would “seriously endanger regional peace and stability” and would “drag the Philippines into the abyss of geopolitical strife.” China made the pronouncement although its vessels and militias are conducting illegal operations as well as harassing Filipino fishermen and authorities in the internationally-recognized Philippine waters.

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