Philippines: US more likely to figure in war at sea than us

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Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (Bullit Marquez, AP)
Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (Bullit Marquez, AP)

The Philippine defence chief says the United States is more likely to be involved in a "shooting war" in the disputed South China Sea than the Philippines and renewed his call for a review of the 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty between Washington and Manila.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Tuesday the treaty needed to be re-examined to clear ambiguities that could cause chaos and confusion during a crisis. He cited China's aggressive seizure in the mid-1990s of a Philippine-claimed reef, saying "The US did not stop it."

The Philippine proposal for the treaty's review was among the key topics when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with President Rodrigo Duterte and other officials in Manila last week.

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