Defending the Philippines, the United States military promised to counter China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea. Photo/REUTERS
MANILA – The United States (US) military vowed to counter China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea.
Washington has defended Manila, which recently had a ship confrontation with Beijing in disputed waters.
US Navy Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Karl Thomas on Sunday assured the Philippines of Washington’s support in countering China’s aggressive behavior.
“My troops are here for a reason,” he said, as quoted by Reuters, Monday (28/8/2023).
He regards China as a common challenge facing the US and the Philippines.
Thomas made his comments some three weeks after an incident in which a Chinese Coast Guard vessel fired water cannon at Filipino vessels trying to resupply a warship that had been deliberately anchored by Manila in the shallow waters of the disputed South China Sea.
The supply mission was finally completed on Tuesday, with Philippine ships delivering food and other goods to troops stationed on World War II-era warships; “Sierra Madre”.
“You have to challenge people, I think, who are operating in the gray zone,” Thomas told Reuters.
“When they take more and push you, you have to fight back. You have to sail and operate.”