The US and the Philippines reaffirm their “iron” alliance in the face of tensions with China


The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has reaffirmed before his Filipino counterpart, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., also known as ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, his “iron” alliance, assuring that an attack against the Armed Forces of the Philippines would unleash the US defense.

“An armed attack against the Philippine Armed Forces, vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including the South China Sea, would invoke the mutual defense commitments of the United States under the (…) United States-Mutual Defense Treaty Philippines of 1951,” read a joint statement.

In this sense, Biden and Marcos have underlined “their unwavering commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea”, as well as “the importance of respecting the sovereign rights of states within their exclusive economic zones in accordance with International Law”, in reference to the latest tensions in the region due to rebukes by Chinese warships against Filipino fishermen.

On the other hand, they have agreed on “the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an essential element of global security and prosperity.” They have also expressed their support for Ukraine, in the context of the Russian invasion, stressing the “independence and territorial integrity” within “its internationally recognized borders.”

This meeting, which is Marcos’ first visit to the White House since he assumed the Presidency of the Philippines last year, is part of the tense relations with Beijing over the waters of the South China Sea and the US presence, since Manila has agreed to provide four new military bases to Washington.

The bases, in application of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), have the objective of building facilities to store and supply equipment, for which reason the Philippine president had to remark this Monday upon his arrival at the White House that The Philippines “will not be used as a base for military actions” in order to “attack China.”

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