You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Lorenzana: PHL will get involved if China-US shooting war erupts

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 11/25/2020 ANNA FELICIA BAJO,GMA News
a close up of a map: West Philippine Sea West Philippine Sea

The Philippines will get dragged into the rising tension between the United States and China in the South China Sea if a shooting war breaks out between the two world powers, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday.

In his speech during a forum of the Stratbase ADR Institute, Lorenzana stressed that the escalating tension between the two superpowers "has occupied the interest and time of the security agencies in the region."

"This then is the crux of the security challenge in the Indo-Pacific region, the looming confrontation of the US and its allies and China over the South China Sea," Lorenzana said.

"While the US and China continue to assert that their actions are defensive, the danger of miscalculation is ever present like the near collision of two frigates belonging to the US and China two years ago," he added.

Further, he said "The recent decision of the Chinese government to arm their coast guard vessels patrolling the South China Sea has upped the ante even more, and if a shooting war happens, the Philippines, which is right smack in the middle of the conflict, will be involved whether [the country] likes it or not." 

Lorenzana shared that he had obtained personal calls as well as visits from other defense ministers, showing that the recent developments in the South China Sea is important to other nations.

He noted that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) could "exert considerable influence on issues and events in the South China Sea if only it could act as one."

Earlier, the ASEAN said it would remain independent and would not allow the United States and China to drag it into their power struggle. The Philippine government, for its part, said it would remain neutral amid the rising tension between the two countries.

China claims nearly the entire resource-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam each claim parts of it.

Despite the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, which delivered a sweeping victory to the Philippines for its case against China, Beijing continue to push for its massive and "historical claims" over the area.

The United States has been opposing China's expansionist claims, sending warships regularly through the strategic sea to demonstrate freedom of navigation in the region. —LBG, GMA News

This article Lorenzana: PHL will get involved if China-US shooting war erupts was originally published in GMA News Online.

More From GMA News Online

GMA News Online
GMA News Online
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon