US reiterates neutral position on West Philippine Sea row

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THE US government has maintained its earlier position of not interfering in the tension between China and the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea.

US Embassy Manila Press Attache Kurt Hoyer said the American government remains neutral in the dispute between the Philippines and China.

“The US government has not taken positions on any of the various claims,” Hoyer told journalists during a forum in Davao City Monday.  “We do not have any claims of our own and it is not really our business.”

The only concern of the American government is the impact of the clash on international trade. Hoyer said at least 40 percent of world trade pass through the West Philippine Sea.

Hoyer said the dispute will “impact the US, China, the Philippines and the larger portion of the world.”

Hoyer urged both parties to resolve the problem in a “diplomatic and peaceful way.”

“We have always encouraged all the parties involved to sit down and discuss the issues concerning the claims,” he said, stressing that the problem “must be resolved  not through bullying tactics, force and other means that raise tension instead of lower tensions.” Jefry M. Tupas, NewsDesk

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