Biden to pledge further support as China-Philippines tensions continue

Biden to pledge further support as China-Philippines tensions continue

US President Joe Biden Credit: Shag 7799/

Joe Biden will double down on his pledge to support the Philippines government as South China Sea tensions continue.

On Monday, May 1, US President Joe Biden and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. are set to agree to stronger military cooperation, which comes at the time of an escalation in tension between the Philippines and China over territory in the South China Sea.

China still claim ownership of much of the South China Sea despite an international arbitral ruling in 2016 saying their claim had no legal basis. With continued tension between Chinese and Philippine boats around the Spratly Islands, the US will continue to offer solidarity.

On Twitter, the US Ambassador to the Philippines posted:

“The United States stands with our Philippine #FriendsPartnersAllies in the face of the People’s Republic of China Coast Guard’s continued infringement upon freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.”

China continues to show aggression in the area, and it is under these circumstances that the US will agree on guidelines for greater cooperation with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. This will be a big turnaround for US-Philippine relations, as former Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, preferred to build closer ties with China.

The new guidelines will pledge closer cooperation between the two nations across land, sea, air, space and cyberspace with the US looking to send aircraft and patrol boats.

Under a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, the United States is called to react to any attack on the Philippine military. Biden will reaffirm the treaty during Marcos’ visit to the US which began on Sunday, April 30. This will be the first visit by a Philippine president in over a decade.

Marcos was reported in Reuters as saying before he left for the US: “We will reaffirm our commitment to fostering our long-standing alliance as an instrument of peace and as a catalyst of development in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Biden was quick in moving to establish ties with Marcos when he became president of the Philippines last year. He will look to take this opportunity to establish more military bases at strategic points in the Philippines, with the US having gained access to three facing Taiwan last month.

China said the US was stoking regional tensions and should have no involvement in what happens in that part of the world.

The US sees China as having designs on Taiwan – a country whose independence China does not recognise – and believes having a military presence in the region to be essential to protecting Taiwan from being taken back under Chinese rule by force.

As part of the meeting with President Marcos, Joe Biden will also look to forge stronger ties in economic and trade matters as well as helping develop technologies such as 5G across the Asian archipelago.

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.