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7 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Philippines warns US treaty could drag it into war

CNN, Atlanta

The Philippines’ top defense official has questioned a key treaty with the US over fears it could drag the country into war in the South China Sea, a day after an American B-52 bomber performed a flyover of the contested region.

Speaking Tuesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) was ambiguous and vague and risked causing “confusion and chaos during a crisis.”

“The Philippines is not in a conflict with anyone and will not be at war with anyone in the future. But the United States, with the increased and frequent passage of its naval vessels in the West Philippine Sea, is more likely to be involved in a shooting war. In such a case and on the basis of the MDT, the Philippines will be automatically involved,” Lorenzana said, according to CNN Philippines.

The West Philippine Sea is the local term for the South China Sea, where US naval vessels have been conducting freedom of navigation exercises, sparking furious denunciations from China, which claims much of the region as its territory and has built up and militarized islands and reefs throughout the sea. On Monday, a US B-52 bomber flew near contested islands in the sea, according to US Pacific Air Forces, which oversees air operations in the region. This was the first flyover involving a nuclear-capable B-52 since November.

The MDT between the US and the Philippines was signed in 1951, in the early years of the Cold War. It commits both countries to come to the assistance of the other in the event of an “armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the parties, or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific or on its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific.”

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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