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Biden is Caught Between a Shoal and a Hard Place

U.S. President Joe Biden is under is under mounting pressure from the Washington policy community over how to respond to the escalataing tensions in the South China Sea. Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP

U.S. President Joe Biden was unequivocal last month when he reaffirmed his commitment to defend the Philippines from an armed attack by Chinese naval forces in the South China Sea.

“Any attack on Filipino aircraft, vessels, or armed forces will invoke our Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines,” he said at the White House.

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