Obama promised to defend Senkaku but not Spratlys

By Raïssa Robles

Posted at Apr 29 2014 12:11 AM | Updated as of Apr 29 2014 08:11 AM

I eagerly awaited what US President Barack Obama would say about the Philippine dispute with China over the Spratlys.

I was glad to hear ABS-CBN reporter RG Cruz ask Obama the question:

“Will the US defend the Philippines in case the territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea become an armed conflict?”

Obama’s answer danced around the question. He said, in part:

“We do not have claims in this area territorially. We are an Asia Pacific nation and our prominent interest is peaceful resolution of conflict…And we don’t even take specific positions on the disputes between nations.”

The sentence – “And we don’t even take specific positions on the disputes between nations” – mystified me.

Because just last week, Obama categorically took a specific position in the case of Senakaku or Diaoyu island, claimed by both Japan and China.

Some netizens have said that now is not the time to push the US on this issue.

If not now, when?

So, will this give China a hint which territory to grab first?

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.