Mike Pompeo says US will defend Philippines against ‘armed attack’ by China

The US secretary of state has committed Washington to aiding the Philippines in the event of an “armed attack” on its vessels or aircraft in the disputed South China Sea, in what some see as a warning shot to China.

Speaking in Manila after meeting the president, Rodrigo Duterte, Mike Pompeo told the Philippines: “We have your back” and invoked the two countries’ mutual defence treaty.

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