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US admiral assures Philippines of help in event of conflict with China in disputed sea

Published on Feb 13, 2014 7:11 PM

MANILA (REUTERS) - The United States will go to the aid of the Philippines in the event of conflict with China over disputed waters in the South China Sea, the commander of the US Navy said on Thursday.

The comments by Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations of the US Navy, were the most explicit statement of US support for the ill-equipped Philippine military which is facing a more assertive China in disputed waters.

"Of course, we would help you," Adm Greenert told students of the National Defence College of the Philippines in response to a question about a hypothetical Chinese occupation of one of the disputed Spratly Islands.

"I don't know what that help would be specifically. I mean, we have an obligation because we have a treaty. But I don't know in what capacity that help is."

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