Philippines seeks help from U.S. in South China Sea dispute

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(Reuters) – The Philippines is seeking more “substantive” support from its long-time security ally United States on how to counter China’s rapid expansion in the South China Sea, the foreign secretary said on Wednesday.

China’s rapid reclamation around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea has alarmed claimants, including the Philippines and Vietnam, and drawn growing criticism from U.S. government officials and the military.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington is concerned China is using its “sheer size and muscle” to push around smaller nations in the disputed sea, drawing a swift rebuke from Beijing.

“We are, at this point, seeking additional support from the United States in terms of being able to take a stronger position in defending our position, which is to uphold the rule of law,” Albert del Rosario, Manila’s foreign minister, told journalists.

“I hope to sit down with defense and also state to be able to see if we could get more substantive support.” He did not say what kind of support he was seeking.

 

 

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/15/us-southchinasea-philippines-usa-idUSKBN0N616A20150415

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