Philippines’ Marcos Jr. approaches his ‘partner and friend’ US
Manila, Sep 23 (EFE).- Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., held a symbolic moment of rapprochement with his “partner, ally and friend,” the United States, in a meeting he held Thursday with US President Joe Biden in New York.
“Historically we have always considered the US as our partner, ally and friend,” “Bongbong” Marcos, son of the late former dictator Ferdinand Marcos (1965-1986) and who came to the Presidency, said at his meeting with Biden in May.
Marcos Jr. consolidated the return to fluid diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the US after the mandate of controversial former President Rodrigo Duterte, who sought the support of China and distanced himself from Washington.
Duterte, who in an official visit to China after coming to power announced the separation of the Philippines from the US, pivoting toward Beijing in matters of foreign policy, ended his term by backing down and softening his anti-American tone.
Both Biden and Marcos mentioned the South China Sea, where China maintains a dispute with the Philippines over the sovereignty of several islands and atolls in waters that are estimated to hide 11,000 million barrels of oil.
An area in which the harassment of Chinese paramilitary militias to Filipino fishermen has generated diplomatic friction in recent months.
“We continue to look to the US for a lasting alliance and peacekeeping in the region,” the Philippine president added.
In this way, Marcos Jr. seeks to build bridges with the US without eroding his relationship with China – a country he invited to live a “golden age” under his mandate during the visit of Chinese Vice President Wang Yi to the Philippines in June – in a delicate game of diplomatic balance.
The Philippine president is rushing his six-day visit to the US, where he arrived Sunday and which has included a meeting with American businessmen at the New York Stock Exchange.