Marcos instructs military to ready for ‘increasingly concerning’ external threat

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed concern over the escalating tensions in the Indo-Pacific region and emphasized the need for the Philippines to prepare for significant external threats. Addressing members of the Philippine Army, Marcos highlighted the country’s strategic proximity to Taiwan, making it an “area of interest for China.” The President stressed the importance of the military being prepared to respond to potential external threats in light of the changing geopolitical landscape and emerging new threats.

Marcos stated that the Philippines is not seeking to expand its territory or redraw sovereign boundaries, including its exclusive economic zone. The decision to approve the United States’ establishment of an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) site in Cagayan was made in response to these evolving threats.

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait have been identified as a major concern in the Philippines’ National Security Policy, recognizing the potential for souring relations between China and Taiwan to become a flashpoint in the region. In January, the Chinese government summoned the Philippine ambassador to caution against meddling in Taiwan-related affairs after Marcos extended congratulations to Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-te. China claims Taiwan as a part of its territory, while Taiwanese citizens and leaders advocate for self-governance and independence.

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