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U.S.-Japan-Philippines announce mutual defense treaty in South China Sea

U.S.-Japan-Philippines announce mutual defense treaty in South China Sea

Posted April. 13, 2024 07:42,   

Updated April. 13, 2024 07:42


In the first trilateral summit held at the White House on Thursday (local time), the U.S., Japan, and the Philippines issued a robust cautionary message directed at China amidst ongoing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The U.S. is evaluated for establishing a 'lattice-like' security system against China by creating a trilateral security cooperation mechanism along with the Quad and AUKUS.

In the joint vision statement issued following the summit, President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced, “We are also concerned by the militarization of reclaimed features and unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea. We resolve to advance trilateral defense cooperation, including through combined naval training and exercises.” As a step, they agreed to initiate trilateral maritime consultations, inclusive of maritime exercises, commencing in the upcoming year.

With the inauguration of the Trilateral Summit, the U.S. has fortified an Asia-Pacific security framework that presents a more cohesive barrier against China. This complements existing structures like the Quad, involving the U.S., Japan, India, and Australia, alongside the U.S., U.K., and Australia alliance AUKUS, and the trilateral cooperation among Korea, the U.S., and Japan. Together, these initiatives establish a multilateral cooperation network spanning the Pacific, Northeast Asia, and Southeast Asia regions. Moreover, the three nations have taken steps to counterbalance China's economic influence by launching the Global Partnership for Infrastructure (GPI) Luzon Corridor, which aims to stimulate investment in Philippine infrastructure.

Prime Minister Kishida underscored in his joint address to the U.S. Congress on that day, "China's current external stance and military actions present an unprecedented and the greatest strategic challenge, not only to the peace and security of Japan but to the peace and stability of the international community at large." Additionally, he condemned North Korea, stating, "There exists an imminent danger of nuclear weapons proliferation in East Asia. North Korea's provocations have an impact beyond the region. It has also exported its ballistic missiles to support Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.”

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