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U.S. Reaffirms Defense of Philippines in Event of ‘Armed Attack’ by Beijing in Ever-Escalating South China Sea Confrontations

Chinese coast guard ship (R) blocking a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources' (BFAR) ship (L) while its personnel aboard a rigid hull inflatable boat sailing past the Philippine ship as it neared the Chinese-controlled Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea, on September 22, 2023.

The U.S. reiterated a warning Monday that it would defend the Philippines in the event of an armed attack after Chinese ships collided with two Filipino vessels off a contested area of the South China Sea.

Washington’s increasingly vocal support for Manila comes after several recent incidents between Chinese and Filipino coast guard vessels in the region and both sides’ deployment of navy ships.

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