President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and US President Joseph Biden renewed their commitment to elevate Manila and Washington’s alliance during the two leaders’ bilateral meeting in Washington.
In his opening remarks, the Philippine leader noted with concern the escalating tensions in the Asia-Pacific and cited US’ assistance in maintaining peace and contribution to the stability and development of the region.
Marcos raised the need to “find ways to strengthen our alliances and partnership in the face of the new economy that we are facing post-pandemic.”
“Beyond that, there are also issues, geopolitical issues that make the region… the Philippines is, possibly, arguably the most complicated geopolitical situation in the world right now,” Marcos said.
The President said it is “only natural” for the Philippines to “look to its sole treaty partner in the world, to strengthen and to redefine the relationship that we have and the roles that we play in the face of these… tensions that we see now around the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific region.”
“We have many things that are new that need to be assessed and again our role as partners in the world…in our worldview of what we are hoping for the future of peace, not only in the Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific region but in the whole world,” he said.
President Biden, for his part, said Washington remains “ironclad in our commitment to the defense of the Philippines, including the South China Sea and we’re gonna continue [supporting] the Philippines’ military modernization.”
“Our countries not only share strong partnership. We share deep friendship, one that has been enriched by millions of Filipino-Americans and the communities all across the United States,” Biden added.
This is the second in-person bilateral meeting between the two leaders. Their first meeting was on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last September 2022 in New York, where they renewed their commitment to the alliance and partnership and agreed to firm up cooperation in priority sectors, as well as their respective visits to the Philippines and the US.
Catherine R. Cueto