US promises to defend the Philippines from ‘armed attack’ in South China Sea, as Manila mulls review of defence treaty

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s pledge that the United States would defend the Philippines in the event of “any armed attack” in the South China Sea drew stern condemnation from Beijing on Friday, with foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang warning Washington not to “stir up trouble”.Pompeo, after a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, said the country depended on “free and unobstructed access to the seas” as it was an island nation.“China’s island-building and military…