HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Philippine President Ferdinand BongBong Marcos, Jr. completed a four day visit to the United States this week, meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss security and economic relations amid shared concerns over China.
Dr. Patricio Abinales, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, joined HNN’s Sunrise Weekends to discuss takeaways from the meeting, which was billed as a show of solidarity and commitment that America will come to the aid of the Philippines should the situation in the South China Sea escalate.
The U.S. and the Philippines said they plan to expand military drills and joint patrols of the disputed area, which China claims as its own. The two countries just completed their annual Balikatan military exercises. During Marcos’ visit, he was given rare honors at the Pentagon.
The Philippines is allowing the U.S. more access to its military bases, expanding American military presence in the country. The U.S. is helping Manila modernize its military, by providing equipment like three C-130 aircraft and additional coastal patrol vessels.
The Marcos administration is setting a very different tone compared to the previous administration, when former President Rodrigo Duterte shifted his country’s foreign policy away from the United States in favor of China and Russia.
But Abinales said not much investment came out of that policy, and Marcos’ visit reaffirms the pivot back to the U.S.
U.S. officials are planning a trade mission to the Philippines later this year.
Source : HawaiiNewsNow