Philippines says determined to assert South China Sea rights

By Thomson Reuters Apr 12, 2024 | 7:34 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Philippines is determined to assert its sovereign rights in the South China Sea, Philippines Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo said on Friday, while U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington is in lockstep with Manila against coercion.

The officials spoke at a meeting between U.S. and Philippines defense and foreign secretaries and their national security advisers, a day after the leaders of the U.S., Japan and the Philippines met at the White House to push back against Beijing’s increased pressure on Manila in the disputed South China Sea.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Simon Lewis; Editing by Sharon Singleton)