Wednesday, June 22, 2011
US obliged to defend Filipinos in Spratlys
PHILIPPINE officials say US forces are obliged to help defend Filipino troops, ships or aircraft under a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty if they come under attack in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs says in a policy paper that the treaty requires Washington to help defend Filipino forces if they come under attack in the Spratlys.
The potentially oil- and gas-rich Spratly Islands have long been regarded as one of Asia's possible flashpoints for conflict. China, the Philippines and Vietnam have been trading barbs and diplomatic protests recently over overlapping territorial claims, reigniting tension. -- AP