(ConservativeHub.com) – In June, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took office, leaving many doubts about how he was going to handle the tension between two superpowers, the U.S. and China.
However, Marcos has shifted the country’s direction from the one that it had followed during former president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. Duterte had been close to Beijing. However, Marcos recently visited the White House in an effort to strengthen the relations between his country and the U.S., engaging in a meeting with President Joe Biden during the trip.
Marcos’ four-day visit to the U.S. was the first time a Filipino leader had visited the country in an official capacity in more than a decade. Recently, the U.S. and Philippine militaries also had a major joint exercise which was meant to further showcase the strengthened relationship between the two countries and potentially decrease Chinese influence in the South China Sea.
DefenseNews reported that Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, who announced a meeting between Marcos and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, stated that the meeting “reaffirmed” the shared values of the countries and their desires to defend against threats. In regards to the meeting, Ryder noted that they had talked about how they could work more effectively with other friendly countries to keep the seas safe and free.
Last week, Marcos also had a private meeting with Biden, during which Biden asked how his administration could help improve the relations between the two nations further. The two leaders reportedly discussed security and economic issues. According to The Guardian, they also released a joint statement expressing their commitment to preserving “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
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