(first published here)
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone on March 31 with National Security Advisor Hermogenes Esperon of the Philippines. The National Security Advisors discussed their shared concerns regarding the recent massing of People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia vessels at Whitsun Reef. Mr. Sullivan underscored that the United States stands with our Philippine allies in upholding the rules-based international maritime order, and reaffirmed the applicability of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty in the South China Sea. The National Security Advisors agreed that the United States and the Philippines will continue to coordinate closely in responding to challenges in the South China Sea.