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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has discussed with his Philippine counterpart China’s recent positioning of “militia vessels” near the Philippines in the South China Sea.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense spoke with Philippine Defense Secretary about the South China Sea situation, and the recent massing of China’s maritime militia vessels at Whitsun Reef

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday discussed with his Philippine counterpart China’s recent positioning of “militia vessels” near the Philippines in the South China Sea.

@CMRamosINQ  Price: Secretary Blinken also reaffirmed the applicability of the 1951 U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty to the South China Sea. | @CMRamosINQ 

Speaking to @teddyboylocsin , New US Secretary of State @SecBlinken  stresses importance of US-PH Mutual Defense Treaty “and its clear application to armed attacks against the Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, which includes the South China Sea

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@Sec Blinken@teddyboylocsinS  @StateDepte  @jpsorianocretary  Blinken also stressed the importance of the Mutual Defense Treaty for the security of both U.S & PHL, & its clear application to armed attacks against the Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, which includes the South China Sea. @jpsoriano 

A Philippine official privy to the meeting said the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the South China Sea will be on the agenda of the meeting with US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller. | @FMangosingINQ 

@willardcheng  @teddyboylocsinO ’Brien: That’s why Secretary Pompeo said in February, “Any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels, in the South China Sea will trigger our mutual defense obligations.” | via @willardcheng 

The Philippines will invoke its 69-year-old defense treaty with the United States if China attacks a Philippine naval vessel in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said.

The Philippines will invoke its 69-year-old defense treaty with the United States if China attacks a Philippine naval vessel in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said.

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China's "9-dash line" used to claim most of the South China Sea is a fabrication, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, as he accused Beijing of illegally occupying Filipino maritime territory.

"Their so-called historical rights over an area enclosed by their Nine-Dash Line doesn't exist except in their imaginations," Philippine defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said about China's claims in the South China Sea.

President Rodrigo Duterte has prohibited Philippine forces from joining other countries in conducting naval exercises in the South China Sea, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

BREAKING: 'Any armed attack on any Philippine forces, aircraft, or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense obligations under...our Mutual Defense Treaty,' US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assures Manila. #PHNews 

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday that China's wish to complete talks on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea in three years is "a good sign" and "good news."

Philippine defense secretary says it's highly unlikely his country will help US patrols in South China Sea.

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