US presence in South China Sea benefits Philippines – Secretary Locsin

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has said that presence of United States in South China Sea benefits the Philippines’ interest.

“It benefits the Philippine interests that we have a US presence in the region, I’ve said that very clearly. It is the same as the presence of Great Britain of the European coast in the old days of the balance of power,” Secretary Locsin said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on August 26.

“Again, we have a balance of power situation. Yes, we need the US presence in Asia,” Secretary Locsin added.

“The one request is let’s keep out foreign powers and I said: ‘No.’ That completely undermines the very independence of the countries who are now going to agree to a Code of Conduct, so we don’t unnecessarily hurt each other,” he explained.

However, Locsin not that “sometimes it may be necessary to hurt each other. As a diplomat, I can tell you I don’t foreclose any means to protect the sovereignty and freedom of my country and that includes the worst.”