The Philippines’ future floats in the West Philippine Sea, United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said in an article published at the US embassy’s website.
“Here in the Philippines, the West Philippine Sea epitomizes the rich marine diversity of this country. In its waters, scientists have discovered hundreds of species of fish, coral, seagrass, and other marine life existing in interdependent systems that teach us about the planet’s complexity, fragility, and resilience,” Ambassador Kim said.
“These habitats not only provide the fish that fill Filipino fishing vessels (and Filipino plates), they also serve as spawning grounds for schools that populate seas throughout Southeast Asia,” he added.
The US envoy also noted that Philippine scientists believe some of the species unique to these waters may also hold the key to biomedical breakthroughs, while climate researchers can study ecosystem changes to measure human impact on the environment.
“Marine conservation begins with securing territorial integrity; when any nation uses coercion, subversion, disinformation, and other underhanded tactics to further its position in the South China Sea, it denies our friends and partners the right to build a sustainable future,” Kim said.
“The United States remains committed to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, and will continue to defend the right of freedom of navigation in international waters and airways,” he added.