Chinese envoy told me to ‘not touch’ MDT with US - DND Sec. Lorenzana

Chinese envoy told me to ‘not touch’ MDT with US - DND Sec. Lorenzana


Department of National Defense (DND) Delfin Lorenzana reveals that China tried to oppose the review of the Philippines-US 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).


The National Defense secretary reveals that China’s former ambassador to Manila came to him when he first brought up the revisiting of the MDT.


“While the US welcomes the idea of revisiting the Mutual Defense Treaty, an outside party does not,” Lorenzana said. “When I first brought up the idea of revisiting the MDT, the former Chinese ambassador came to me and said: ‘Please do not touch the MDT. Leave it as it is’,” he adds.

(Photo credit to owner)


Lorenzana first revealed unofficial efforts to review the MDT with the United States back in late 2018. He did not name the Chinese official but back then, China’s ambassador to the Philippines was Zhao Jianhua.


The Philippines has sought to review the MDT, which calls for both countries to aid the other in case of an armed attack in the Pacific, amid the ongoing Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea.


“Is the MDT still relevant or should it be abrogated, replaced or revised? These questions are tricky as each has implications to the security of both parties and individually,” Lorenzana told the forum.


“How does the MDT fit in with the current situation in the region? Are bilateral agreements better than multilateral? Is it time to create a NATO-like arrangement?” Lorenzana said..

The proposed review of the MDT would address grey areas with respect to security issues which would include the different expansion tactics of China.


“It knew that any aggression it takes will trigger the MDT,” he said.



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