Joe Biden has recently declared that the United States would go to war against China to defend the Philippines.
This significant escalation comes in the wake of an incident in which a Philippines coast guard ship and supply boat were rammed by Chinese vessels in the disputed Scarborough Shoal area of the South China Sea.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported that the Chinese vessels collided with Philippine boats on a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre, a Philippine navy ship, on Second Thomas Shoal.
Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, is an atoll in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea, 105 nautical miles west of Palawan, Philippines. Claimed by several nations but located in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, the atoll is currently militarily occupied by the Philippines.
The incident occurred on Sunday, when the China Coast Guard vessel 5203 (CCGV 5203) engaged in dangerous blocking maneuvers, leading to a collision with the Philippine indigenous resupply boat named Unaiza May 2 (UM2).
Furthermore, during the same resupply mission, the Philippine Coast Guard vessel MRRV 4409 was bumped by the Chinese Maritime Militia vessel 00003 (CMMV 00003) while positioned approximately 6.4NM Northeast of Ayungin Shoal.
The Scarborough Shoal has long been a subject of territorial disputes between China and the Philippines. China’s increasing military assertiveness in the region has drawn international concern, but Biden’s statement marks an unprecedented escalation on the part of the United States.
Speaking at a White House press conference alongside Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday, Biden pledged military support to defend the Philippines in the wake of recent incidents in the disputed South China Sea.
“Just this past week, the [People’s Republic of China] vessels acted as dangerously and unlawfully as our Philippine friends conducted a routine resupply mission within their own exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea,” said Biden.
“I want to be clear. I want to be very clear. The United States defense commitment to the Philippines is ironclad. Any attack on the Filipino aircraft, vessels, or armed forces will invoke our mutual defense treaty with the Philippines,” he said.
BREAKING: Biden vows to go to war against China to defend The Philippines after The Philippines coast guard ship and supply boat were rammed by Chinese vessels at disputed Shoal in the South China Sea.
“The United States reaffirms that Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines… pic.twitter.com/lzy8ILSBbR
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) October 25, 2023
Biden invoked the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense, an agreement that commits both the United States and the Philippines to collectively defend against external military aggression.
Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty states that:
Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes.
Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall be immediately reported to the Security Council of the United Nations. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.
An armed attack on either of the parties includes:
- An armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the parties.
- An armed attack on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific.
- An armed attack on its armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific.
The treaty recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific Area on either of the parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety.
“The United States stands with our Philippine allies in the face of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard and maritime militia’s dangerous and unlawful actions obstructing an October 22 Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea,” the US Department of States said in a statement.
“Second Thomas Shoal is a feature well within the Philippine exclusive economic zone and on the Philippine continental shelf. An international tribunal’s July 2016 decision – legally binding on both the Philippines and PRC – made clear that “there exists no legal basis for any entitlement by China to maritime zones in the area of Second Thomas Shoal.” The same ruling affirmed that Second Thomas Shoal is a low-tide elevation outside the territorial sea of another high tide feature – as such, the PRC’s territorial claims to it are unfounded.
“The unsafe maneuvers on October 22 and the PRC water cannoning of a Philippines’ vessel on August 5 are the latest examples of provocative PRC measures in the South China Sea to enforce its expansive and unlawful maritime claims, reflecting disregard for other states lawfully operating in the region.
“The United States reaffirms that Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft – including those of its Coast Guard – anywhere in the South China Sea,” the statement concluded.
China immediately responded to Biden’s statement, as Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning contended that the United States has no right to interfere in matters between China and the Philippines.
“The US defense commitment to the Philippines should not undermine China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in South China Sea, nor should it support the illegal claims of the Philippines,” Mao told the AFP.