Jacob Stokes, an Indo-Pacific expert at the CNAS think-tank, said the statement on Monday further clarified when the defence commitment would be triggered.
“That’s an important signal to Beijing given ongoing grey zone pressure by Chinese forces in the maritime space.”
He added that the leaders had included “critical” language about the need for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
“Manila has clearly made both a diplomatic and a military-operational calculation that a Taiwan contingency would have direct and unavoidable implications for the security of the Philippines. And therefore, taking steps to deter such an outcome — even if they create near-term friction with China — are in order.”
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