Biden says US is committed to defending Philippines in first meeting with Philippine president


As President Joe Biden seeks to strengthen the U.S.-Philippines alliance, in his first bilateral meeting with the Philippines’ new leader, he reaffirmed the U.S.’s “ironproof” commitment to defending the Philippines. did.

Biden met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday. Marcos, son of the late Philippine dictator and namesake, took office on his June 30th.

The two leaders discussed the situation in the South China Sea, emphasizing their support for “freedom of navigation and overflight and a peaceful settlement” there. read out Published by the White House.

We also discussed expanding bilateral cooperation in energy security, climate change countermeasures and infrastructure. Biden praised the Philippines for condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“The relationship between the United States and the Philippines, frankly, has very deep roots. There have been difficult times, but in reality it is an important relationship from our perspective,” he said. . Press conference.

Marcos expressed his intention to strengthen the U.S.-Philippines alliance, saying his country appreciates the U.S. role in maintaining peace in the region.

“The more than 100-year-old relationship between the Philippines and the United States continues to evolve as we face the challenges of this new century and the events we have witnessed over the past few months.

China has increased its influence in the South China Sea through artificial islands and military buildup. Despite competing with other countries, the Chinese Communist regime claims much of the South China Sea lies below the so-called “nine-dash line.”

With the exception of the Philippines and China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have their own overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

Philippines protest against China

Marcos has previously vowed to uphold the Hague’s 2016 ruling in favor of the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute, saying it would not allow China to encroach “one square millimeter of our maritime coastline.”

The Philippines has filed more than 48 protests against China’s maritime aggression under the Marcos regime. His predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, filed his 388 protests during his six-year term as president.

Philippine Undersecretary of Defense Angelito de Leon said on Sept. 8 that Chinese ships continue to crowd Philippine waters despite protests, urging the National Coast Guard to step up awareness and patrols of the maritime domain. said he did.

The Philippines and the United States are allies under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, which provides for mutual defense if either the United States or the Philippines is attacked.

In early July, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told Chinese Communist Party leaders that Washington was obligated to defend the Philippines should its forces, ships and aircraft come under attack in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. warned.

“We will support our ally the Philippines, defend its rights, and oppose China’s provocations and threats,” Blinken said, using the acronym for China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China. said.

Andrew Thornebrooke contributed to this report.

Aldogra Fredry

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Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.