- Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she is ‘proud’ that the Philippines took China to an arbitration court
- The presidential candidate also reiterates her support to America’s closest ally in the region
- She assures that the territorial conflict will be handled in a diplomatic manner, and not by force
MANILA, Phillipines – Former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the Philippines is in the right direction in filing an arbitration case against China before the international court in The Hague, Netherlands to resolve the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News’ North American Bureau, Clinton throws her support behind the Philippines in its ongoing arbitration case against China that mainly questions the latter’s self-imposed ‘nine-dash line’ territorial boundary in the disputed waters.
“I have been very strongly in support with the Philippines in this dispute and I am proud of the Philippines for taking their dispute to the international court,” Clinton said; describing Manila’s move as a wise decision ‘because there should not be a seizure of any territory until there’s some kind of resolution that is legal’.
Clinton is a staunch critic of China even during her White House stint as First Lady when she made a rousing speech against the communist nation’s rampant human rights abuses at the UN World Conference on Women in 1995.
She was also seen as the ‘point person’ on President Barack Obama’s rebalance strategy in the Asia-Pacific region and has been very vocal in her stance against China’s aggressive South China Sea Policy after she became the US Secretary of State.
In her latest interview, she reiterates her support for the Philippines which she described as ‘close friend’ of the United States.
“I have supported the Filipino government in taking the action that they have in the courts and I have visited the Philippines when I was secretary of state to show my support for them to be able to protect their coastline and their possessions the territories that the Philippines claim,” the former US First Lady said.
The US Democratic Party presidential hopeful cited the existing treaty and mutual defense pact between the two allies as basis by which defending the Philippines during an attack in the West Philippine Sea became an obligation for Washington.
“So you can count on me to protect the interest in the South China Sea because it’s important that these disputes be handled in a diplomatic and legal matter not by force or seizure,” she stressed.
She further pointed out that while the Philippines is helping itself in the maritime dispute, it is also seeking US’ help at the same time, and she is pleased to know that her country is giving these help.