US shift on South China Sea matters most for Manila

Washington's history of strategic ambiguity despite a mutual defence treaty has been a sore point for the Philippines

Of all countries, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's latest statement on the South China Sea disputes is of greatest consequence to its oldest Asian ally, the Philippines.

Much has been written about Mr Pompeo's emphatic and unequivocal rejection of China's territorial and maritime claims.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2020, with the headline 'US shift on South China Sea matters most for Manila'. Subscribe