U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday China must stop land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to the defense and security of the Philippines, one of the parties to the dispute.
Obama, speaking after a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Manila, said he looked forward to working with all claimants to the waterway to resolve their disputes.
On Tuesday, Obama visited an American-donated coast guard cutter now owned by the Philippines, one its closest allies in the region.
Talking to journalists Monday before boarding the US-donated Philippines navy frigate that operates around the Spratly Islands, Obama said: “We have a treaty obligation, an iron-clad commitment to the defence of our ally the Philippines.
“My visit here underscored our shared commitment to the security of the waters of this region and to freedom of navigation.”