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Biden Warns China | US Will Defend Philippines

Biden Warns China | US Will Defend Philippines

The Clash at Sea

China’s economy may or may not be able to revive, but it never has any trouble reviving territorial disputes. The latest flashpoint is with the Philippines. On Sunday, a Chinese ship collided with a Philippine vessel in an attempt to blockade the smaller boat from moving about in Filipino waters. Of course, China says these are disputed waters.

Biden’s Ironclad Commitment

This clash at sea sent alarm bells ringing in the US. Washington and Manila are longtime allies and Joe Biden thought that he needed to remind China of this. “I want to be clear,” Biden said, “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.”

Diplomatic Maneuvers

Top officials from both sides, America and China, have been meeting regularly. They’re working to set up a big meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping which could happen next month. Xi Jinping has said that he’s willing to cooperate with the US to manage differences.

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi is in Washington he’ll be there till Sunday and Reports say he’s meeting Joe Biden tomorrow that meeting was already going to be tough but after Biden’s speech it will only get more Awkward

China’s Response

China responded to Biden’s speech along expected lines. Mao Ning, Spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “The US is not party to the South China Sea issue. It has no right to get involved in a problem between China and the Philippines. The US promise of defending the Philippines must not hurt China’s sovereignty and maritime interests in the South China Sea and it must also not enable and encourage the illegal claims of the Philippines.”

The South China Sea Dispute

China is essentially saying don’t interfere as we bully our smaller neighbors. For those of you who still don’t know, China is quite greedy when it comes to the South China Sea. It’s a disputed region and everything within China’s infamous Nine-Dash line is claimed by China.

Biden Warns China | US Will Defend Philippines

The Need for US Protection

Countries like the Philippines cannot fight China on their own which is why they need help from the US. In fact, all countries located around the South China Sea face Beijing’s aggression and that’s why they’ve let Washington set up bases and alliances all over the region.

Biden’s Explanation

Biden said, “When I was asked when we put together the deal I was asked by Xi Jinping that we’re just trying to surround China. I said no we’re not surrounding China we’re just making sure that the sea lanes remain open.”

That explanation seems disingenuous but the fact remains that China’s neighbors need the US to protect themselves. If Beijing wants the US to stay out of the South China Sea it needs to give up its expansionist tendencies but given China’s record, it’s asking for too much.

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