Marcos pledges measures against China in South China sea standoff

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced plans for a series of response and countermeasures against China’s actions in the disputed South China Sea. This announcement comes amidst ongoing tensions over the Second Thomas Shoal, with recent incidents involving the China Coast Guard using water cannons against Filipino vessels attempting to resupply the BRP Sierra Madre.

Marcos highlighted that the proposed measures would be “proportionate, deliberate, and reasonable” in response to what he described as “open, unabating, and illegal, coercive, aggressive, and dangerous attacks” by Chinese forces. The plan involves various national government agencies and aims to protect the Philippines’ sovereignty and territorial rights.

Despite not specifying any country, Marcos mentioned ongoing discussions with international allies willing to support the Philippines in securing its sovereignty and ensuring regional peace and stability. This follows a reaffirmation from US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin of the US’s commitment to the mutual defense treaty with the Philippines, condemning China’s aggressive tactics.

China, on the other hand, warned against any willful actions by Manila, accusing the Philippines of harassment and provocations, which Beijing claims are the root causes of the recent escalations in the South China Sea. China’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Wu Qian, criticized the Philippines for violating international agreements and misleading the international community.

As tensions simmer in the region, both nations assert their positions, with the Philippines seeking to defend its territorial integrity without seeking conflict, while China insists on its sovereignty and accuses Manila of provocations.–Web Desk