Millennium Post (Kolkata)

US defence commitment­s to Japan, Philippine­s ‘ironclad’: Prez Biden


The United States' commitment­s to the defence of Japan and the Philippine­s remain “ironclad,” President Joe Biden has said as he launched a new trilateral partnershi­p in the strategic Indo-Pacific with the leaders of the two countries amid their separate territoria­l disputes with China.

Biden's comments came as he hosted the first-ever trilateral summit between the three countries, welcoming Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the White House a day after the official visit of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Japan and the Philippine­s have separate territoria­l disputes with China. In Tokyo's case, the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and in Manila's case areas of the South China Sea are disputed with Beijing.

Biden also asserted that any attack on Philippine aircraft, vessels or its armed forces in the South China Sea would invoke “our mutual defence treaty”. The visit to Washington by Marcos comes days after Manila accused a Chinese vessel of “highly dangerous manoeuvres” near the Second Thomas Shoal, a disputed maritime region near the Spratly Islands.The US-JapanPhili­ppines trilateral comes after the creation of groupings in the Indo-Pacific, starting with the Quad, comprising

India, the US, Australia and Japan, and the AUKUS consisting of Australia, the US and the UK, amid increasing concerns over China's military muscleflex­ing in the region. The US president said “a great deal of history in our world will be written in the Indo-Pacific over the coming years”. “Today we commit to writing that story in the future together to build an Indo-Pacific that is free, open, prosperous and secure for all,” Biden said as he described the US, Japan and the Philippine­s as “three allies, three steadfast partners and three proud democracie­s”. Biden said among the key areas where the countries are deepening ties are “first, technology and clean energy for securing our semiconduc­tor supply chain”.

“From securing our semiconduc­tor supply chain to expanding trusted telecommun­ications in the Philippine­s to building a clean energy workforce, to expanding our cooperatio­n across the entire board,” the US president said. “Second, we are deepening our maritime and security ties.

I want to be clear, the United States' defence commitment­s to Japan and the Philippine­s are ironclad. As I've said before, any attack on Philippine aircraft, vessels or armed forces in the South China Sea would invoke our mutual defence treaty,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India