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U.S. warns it will defend Philippines after China deploys laser at sea

The Biden administration has denounced the actions of China’s military after a new significant incident involving the Philippine and Chinese Coast Guards. It happened on Feb.6, but has only this week been revealed.

State Department spokesman Ned Price in a Tuesday briefing blasted China’s “provocative and unsafe” interference aimed at disrupting Philippine vessels’ “lawful operations” in the South China Sea. “More broadly, the PRC’s dangerous operational behavior directly threatens regional peace and stability, infringes upon freedom of navigation in the South China Sea as guaranteed under international law, and undermines the rules-based international order,” Price said.

Specifically, the allegation is that a Chinese Coast Guard ship used a laser device to “temporarily blind” the crew of the rival Philippine ship, according to the US, citing its Philippine ally.

Last summer Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged and spelled out: “We also reaffirm that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke US mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”

Article: U.S. warns it will defend Philippines after China deploys laser at sea 

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