China, the Philippines, and Claims Over Destroyed Coral Reefs: An Environmental Issue or Something More?
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China, the Philippines, and Claims Over Destroyed Coral Reefs: An Environmental Issue or Something More?

The Philippines and the United States signed a Mutual Defense Treaty in 1951, under which they agreed to provide mutual assistance in the event of an armed attack.

Professor Araral, however, said that even if the Philippines invokes the treaty, it does not automatically mean that the US will engage in a conflict with China.

In reality, the treaty is a mechanism aimed at de-escalating tensions between the Philippines and China, he noted.

Professor Araral added that according to the agreement, any case that appears will be reported to the UN Security Council. Then the problem will be mitigated and calmed down.

“The United States does not automatically have to confront China because there are mechanisms to resolve conflicts,” he said.

He noted that the Philippines wants to involve the United States because it is a smaller country competing with the Asian giant, but China does not want the US to get involved.

“That’s where we are… at an impasse, but I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to escalate the conflict any further,” he said.