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Biden says US support for Philippines, Japan defense 'ironclad' amid growing China provocations

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden said Thursday that U.S. defense commitment to Pacific allies was ''ironclad'' as he gathered Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House in the midst of growing concern about provocative Chinese military action in the Indo-Pacific.

The U.S. and the Philippines have had a mutual treaty in place for more than 70 years. Biden's forceful reinforcement of the American commitment comes in the midst of persistent skirmishes between the Philippine and Chinese coast guards in the disputed South China Sea.

''The United States defense commitments to Japan and to the Philippines are ironclad. They're ironclad," Biden said as he began three-way talks at the White House with Kishida and Marcos. "As I said before, any attack on Philippine aircraft, vessels or armed forces in the South China Sea would invoke our mutual defense treaty.''


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