Philippines has backed US plan to deploy a naval ship close to Chinese man-made island in the South China Sea.
Philippines says that it is important for the international community to safeguard freedom of navigation in the disputed waters, Philstar reported Tuesday.
US plans to send a naval ship within 22 kilometers of the man-made land mass in the Spartly Islands. The Philippine department of foreign affairs has said that, “the action would be consistent with the international law and a rules-based order for the region.”
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs warned that "failure to challenge false claims of sovereignty would undermine this order and lead China to the false conclusion that its claims are accepted as a fait accompli."
"It is important for the international community to safeguard freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea," it said. "This is of paramount concern to all countries.
Apart from China and the Philippines, four other governments lay claim to a part of or the entire South China Sea, a busy passageway for a bulk of the world's commerce and military vessels.
Washington has a policy of not taking sides in the territorial disputes, but says it's in its national interest to ensure freedom of navigation and overflight and the peaceful resolution of the conflicts.