Marcos advises US and China to manage rivalry responsibly

In an address at the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, President Ferdinand Marcos emphasized the significance of the rivalry between the United States and China in the Indo-Pacific region. He highlighted the crucial roles that both superpowers play, with China’s impact on regional security and economy and the United States’ role in maintaining peace.

President Marcos called on Indo-Pacific nations to resist any attempts to compromise their autonomy, urging them to adhere to a rules-based international order guided by principles of equity and justice. He referenced key agreements such as the UN Charter, the Bangkok Declaration establishing ASEAN, and the Manila Declaration on Peaceful Settlement of Disputes as frameworks for addressing current challenges.

Rejecting the notion that the region is merely a battleground for big powers, Marcos emphasized that Indo-Pacific nations are key players in shaping their own future. He stated that they are not bystanders but rather the main actors driving events in the region.

President Marcos has sought to strengthen defense cooperation with the United States in response to Chinese actions in the South China Sea. The Philippines expanded a 2014 agreement to give the US military access to additional bases, enabling joint training and the construction of facilities within Philippine military bases. The United States’ increased presence in the region, including deployments in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, has raised tensions with China, which has accused the US of using the Philippines to stir up trouble in the region.

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