Biden says respect for int’l waterways also tackled with China’s President Xi
(Eagle News) – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr met with US President Joe Biden on Thursday, September 22, where the two leaders discussed about further deepening the relations between the Philippines and the United States, including on the issue of the South China Sea.
Biden, at the start of the meeting, admitted that there had been times that the relations between the Philippines had been rocky, but still remained very critical and very deep because of its roots.
“The relationship between the United States and the Philippines, to state the obvious, has very deep roots,” the 79-year old US leader said.
“We’ve had some rocky times but the fact is it’s a critical, critical relationship from our perspective. I hope you feel the same way,” he said.
Biden also noted how the strong ties between the two countries had been further fortified because of the “millions of Filipino-Americans, who are very proud of their ancestry.”
He said these Filipino-Americans “desperately want us to continue to have a strong relationship.”
The US President said the foundation of the US-Philippine alliance remains strong and is “of critical importance.”
-Biden refers to South China Sea as a “critical global throughway-
He particularly raised the issue of the South China Sea, referring to it as a “critical global throughway.” He said that he had talked about the importance of respecting this key international waterway with China’s President Xi Jinping.
“I expect we’ll discuss the South China Sea and disputes in critical global throughway. I’ve spent a lot of time with not only the President of China but others about the international waters and how they had to be respected. And we should talk about that a little bit, I hope,” he said.
Marcos Jr said that the Philippine-US relations continue to evolve, but the role of the US to maintain peace in the region continue to be appreciated.
The 65-year old Philippine president said that there is much to discuss regarding “redefining” these relations in many ways.
-US role in maintaining peace in region cited-
But the role of the US to maintain the peace in the Indo-Pacific region is crucial, he said, and maintaining peace is what the Philippines in the South China Sea is of interest to the Philippines, Marcos said.
“We continue to look to the United States for that continuing partnership and the maintenance of peace in our region,” he said.
“In terms of the geopolitical issues that we face in this day and age, the primary consideration of the Philippines and the guiding principle of the Philippine foreign policy is to encourage peace,” he said.
“And 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 the complexities that have arisen in the past few months I suppose,” President Marcos Jr explained.
-Covid-19 recovery, energy security, renewable energy cooperation-
Biden, early on, said that he wanted to strengthen the alliance with the Philippines, including on a wide range of issues such as “COVID-19 recovery, energy security, (and) renewable energy.”
He said that he was impressed with the work done by President Marcos Jr on renewable energy such as the windmills project in Ilocos Norte which was done while Marcos was still the governor of the province.
“I was impressed with the work you did on windmills and a whole range of other things. You and I both think that’s the future we can do a lot — we can do a lot together. I’m desperately interested in making sure we do,” the US leader said.
“And we also thank you for your position on the war against Ukraine and — by Russia. And how it’s impacting energy prices and food prices. And we are working very hard to be able to do something about that,” he said.
-Human rights and other issues-
Biden said also wanted to talk about human rights and several other issues.
But I’m mainly — I’m interested to know what’s on your mind and how we can continue to strengthen this relationship.
He again congratulated Marcos Jr, the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, for his historic win in the previous Philippine elections.
Marcos, for this part, said that the Philippines considered the US as an ally, a friend, and a partner
He thanked Biden for the “massive help” the Philippines had received from the US at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the provision of almost 36 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19.
“And for that we are very, very grateful,” he said.
(Eagle News Service)