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South China Sea: Philippines’ Marcos vows countermeasures to Chinese ‘attacks’, says Manila won’t be ‘cowed into silence’

He did not specify what the countermeasures would include.

The Philippines has been furious in the past year over what it calls repeated aggression by China’s coastguard and allied fishing vessels around disputed features located inside Manila’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.


Chinese floating barrier blocks entrance to Philippine ships at South China Sea flashpoint

China warned the Philippines on Monday to behave cautiously and seek dialogue, saying their relations were at a “crossroads” as confrontations between their coastguards over maritime claims worsened tensions.

Marcos said he met his defence and security officials and has been in communication with “friends in the international community”.

“They have offered to help us on what the Philippines requires to protect and secure our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction while ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” Marcos said.

China on Thursday blamed Philippine actions for recent rising tensions.

“The provocations by the Philippine side are the direct cause of the recent heating up of the South China Sea issue,” Beijing’s defence ministry said in a statement entitled “China Will Not Allow the Philippines to Act Wilfully”.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to a 1951 mutual defence treaty with the Philippines and criticised as “dangerous” China’s actions at the Second Thomas Shoal.

In a phone call on Wednesday with his Philippine counterpart Gilberto Teodoro, Austin “reaffirmed the ironclad US commitment to the Philippines” which it said was undertaking a lawful resupply mission.

The Philippine-US treaty binds both countries to defend each other if under attack and includes coastguard, civilian and