(first published here)
The below is attributable to U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price:
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin, Jr. Both expressed their shared concerns with the massing of People’s Republic of China (PRC) maritime militia vessels in the South China Sea, including at Whitsun Reef, and reiterated their calls on the PRC to abide by the 2016 arbitration ruling issued pursuant to the Law of the Sea Convention. Secretary Blinken also reaffirmed the applicability of the 1951 U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty to the South China Sea. Secretary Blinken and Secretary Locsin welcomed enhanced bilateral and multilateral cooperation on the South China Sea. Secretary Blinken also discussed the Administration’s efforts to combat rising hate and violence against Asian-Americans.