Washington's ambassador to the Philippines today pledged continued American support for Manila's efforts to resist "economic coercion" by its neighbors, even if there is a change of administration after US elections next month. "There will be continuity. We will continue our support to free trade, no economic coercion and free speech, whoever wins in the elections," said Ambassador Harry Thomas. Thomas was referring to an ongoing Chinese military build-up in the disputed South China Sea. Doyle Stout, president of the Republicans Abroad, said the US will maintain its support for the Philippines' right to protect its territorial interests in the disputed region. "The US government will be behind the Philippines no matter who wins in the elections," said Stout.
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