The Philippine government agrees with United States plan to send a US Navy warship within the territorial waters (12 nautical miles) of fake islands created by China in West Philippine Sea. The DFA said it is a major concern “to safeguard freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.”
“If the US decides to send naval vessels within 12 nautical miles of the reclaimed low-tide elevation features in affirmation of this objective, this would be consistent with international law and a rules-based order for the region,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in a statement today. The DFA said last week that Philippines will be confirming the said plan by US before it will make a statement.
“Failure to challenge false claims of sovereignty would undermine this order and lead China to the false conclusion that its claims are accepted as a fait accompli,” Jose further said.
The US Navy is reportedly waiting for US President Obama’s approval. “Whether that is a destroyer loaded out with missiles or an LCS with less weapons, the point wouldn’t be about which weapons the Navy is sending,” a US defense official said speaking to The Post on condition of anonymity. “The objective to this would be to demonstrate that this is international water.”