Manila: The United States is more likely to be involved in a “shooting war” in the disputed South China Sea than the Philippines but the latter would be embroiled in such a conflict just the same because of its 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty with Washington, the Philippine defence chief said Tuesday. Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said 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 during an overnight visit to Manila last week. The treaty behind one of the longest-standing security alliances in Asia calls on the US and the Philippines to come to each other’s defence against an external attack.

In the past, the Philippines has tried to clarify whether the treaty would apply if its forces come under attack in a disputed region like the South China Sea, where it has been locked in tense territorial conflicts with China and four other governments.

Sharif’s condition life-threatening: Maryam
Lahore: Pakistan’s deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s medical condition is “life-threatening” and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo has suffered four angina attacks last week, his daughter said.

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