Across The RegionDepartmentsNational Sovereignty

Presidents Biden, Marcos Reaffirm Nations’ Alliance

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and United States President Joe Biden reflected on the importance of their nations’ alliance during their first in-person meeting in September 2022, as President Biden “reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to the defense of the Philippines.”

The leaders met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York four months after Marcos swept to power in a landslide election.

Manila and Washington have a mutual defense treaty dating to 1951, and President Biden said the allies are in a “critical, critical relationship.”

“For decades, the alliance has strengthened both of us, I believe,” he said, according to the White House.

In addition to discussing the South China Sea, where the Philippines is among several nations embroiled in long-running territorial disputes with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the leaders talked about energy security, climate action, infrastructure, the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on energy prices and food security, and the crisis in Myanmar, among other matters, the White House said.

Beijing refuses to accept a 2016 ruling by an international arbitration tribunal in Manila’s favor over the PRC’s arbitrary claims in the South China Sea. Chinese vessels also consistently encroach in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the strategic waterway.

Marcos, who promised before taking office that he would assert the 2016 ruling, said “the role of the United States in maintaining the peace in our region is something that is much appreciated by all the countries in the region and the Philippines especially. [I] hope that we will be able to discuss further the roles that our two countries will play together and individually as we continue down that road, maintaining peace despite all of the complexities that have arisen in the past few months.”

In March 2022, the two nations conducted one of their largest joint military exercises, Balikatan, with officials saying they hoped it would convey a message of strong bilateral ties in the face of the PRC’s maritime challenges. (Pictured: Philippine and U.S. Marines conduct a raid during exercise Balikatan in the Philippines in April 2022.)

In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Marcos urged respect for an “open, inclusive, and rules-based international order that is governed by international law and informed by the principles of equity and justice.”  Benar News

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button