21 Jun Will United States Help Philippines in the West Philippine Sea Problem?
On Tuesday, June 21, president-elect Rodrigo Duterte said, “Are you with us or are you not with us? Because if I may decide based on the international court’s judgment, I will now start to claim there.”
He is asking the US Ambassador Philip Goldberg on what is US stand in the ongoing dispute between China and Philippines in the west Philippine Sea.
Through the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Philippines and the US government are subject to have a “common determination to defend themselves against external armed attack.”
Yet, the treaty remains questionable for Duterte. He said, “I’ll give you an example. The law of the sea of nations [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea] gives us the exclusive right over 200 [nautical miles]. If I go there using that privilege of mine, would that be an attack against China or an offense against China?”
China has already shown is defiance that whatever decisions that the international tribunal might make, they shall not yield.
“I’ve repeatedly said we will await for the arbitral judgement. Then I will decide,” said Duterte.