US, Japan and Philippines to seek closer coordination on South China Sea — US official

April 4, 2024 - 2:15 PM
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An aerial view shows the BRP Sierra Madre on the contested Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin, in the South China Sea, March 9, 2023 (File Photo via Reuters)

 A trilateral summit next week between the U.S., Japan and the Philippines will bring closer coordination on South China Sea issues, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said on Wednesday.

Campbell made the comment at an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security in Washington, as the U.S. has expressed concern over the Chinese coast guard’s use of water cannons on Philippines vessels near Second Thomas Shoal in a disputed section of the South China Sea.

U.S. President Joe Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr for a summit in Washington on April 11 to discuss economic relations and the Indo-Pacific. Biden will host Kishida for a bilateral summit the day before.

— Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina