In a strong message to China, the Philippines have made it clear that it would turn to the US for military help during ongoing flare-ups between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea.

Philippines Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said Manila would invoke its defence agreement with the US if China attacks its naval vessels in the disputed waters.

“If something happens that is beyond incursion but is, in fact, an attack on say a Filipino naval vessel…..means then I call up Washington DC,” he added.

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