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EU’s Ursula von der Leyen Takes Aim at China During Philippines Visit, Pledges Maritime Security Assistance

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks at a business event in Fairmont Hotel, in Makati on July 31, 2023. ELOISA LOPEZ / POOL / AFP

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sharply criticized China’s increasingly assertive behavior in the South China Sea and vowed closer security cooperation with the Philippines.

“We are concerned about the rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific,” she said during a visit to Manila on Monday, where she also accused Beijing of engaging in “threats of coercion” that undermine stability in the region.

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