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Taiwan stress underscores significance of Philippine-US ties, says Marcos

MANILA: The risky geopolitical scenario and fallout from US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan underline the significance of the US-Philippine relationship, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr mentioned on Saturday (Aug 6).

Marcos, assembly US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the presidential palace in Manila, mentioned his go to was well timed, however he believed Pelosi’s journey “didn’t elevate the depth” of a scenario that was already risky.

Blinken is the highest-ranking US official to journey to the Philippines for the reason that inauguration of Marcos, the son of the late strongman who Washington helped flee into exile in Hawaii after a 1986 “folks energy” rebellion.

He assured Marcos the US would honour its commitments to their decades-old joint defence pact.

“The alliance is robust and I imagine can develop even stronger,” Blinken informed Marcos.

“We’re dedicated to the mutual protection treaty we’re dedicated to working with the Philippines on shared challenges.”

The Philippines is a fulcrum of the geopolitical rivalry between the US and China and Marcos faces a tough difficult in balancing his nation’s ties between the 2 main financial powers.

US-Philippines ties had been shaken by overtures in the direction of China by Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, his frequent outbursts over his disdain for the US and his threats to downgrade their defence ties.

Blinken’s go to to the Philippines got here amid rising tensions, fierce rhetoric and an illustration of Chinese language navy energy round Taiwan stemming from Pelosi’s go to to the self-governed island, which China regards as its sovereign territory.

On Saturday, the third day of the conflict video games, Taiwan accused the Chinese language navy of simulating an assault on its important island as they deployed fighter jets and warships simply 400km north of the Philippines.

Marcos mentioned Pelosi’s journey “simply demonstrated … the depth of that battle.”

“We’ve got been at that stage for a very good whereas, however now we have kind of obtained used to the concept,” he informed Blinken forward of a closed-door assembly.

Blinken later held a digital assembly with the Philippine overseas minister, Enrique Manalo, who’s recovering from COVID-19.

Manalo mentioned Washington was “an essential ally, accomplice and good friend”, but in addition careworn to Blinken the necessity for calm to prevail as tensions mount over Taiwan, an island simply 260km from the Philippines mainland.

“The Philippines continues after all to have a look at the massive powers to assist calm the waters and preserve the peace,” Manalo mentioned.

“We will sick afford any additional escalation of tensions within the area.”

Blinken mentioned peace and safety was a problem the US needed to take care of all over the place, nevertheless it “decided to behave responsibly, in order that we keep away from disaster, we keep away from battle.” 

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