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Monday, July 22, 2024

Philippines Asserts Maritime Rights Amid China Tensions, President Marcos Affirms

In a bid to address simmering tensions with China over maritime disputes, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr of the Philippines spoke at a forum in Australia, reiterating the nation’s stance on sovereignty and cooperation.

Cooperation Amid Dispute

President Marcos emphasized the Philippines’ commitment to engaging in dialogue with China and neighboring Southeast Asian nations to establish a code of conduct (COC) based on international law. He highlighted the importance of fostering a conducive environment for constructive negotiations while asserting the nation’s resolve to safeguard its territorial integrity against any encroachment.

US Alliance and Regional Stability

Marcos underscored the enduring alliance between the Philippines and the United States, portraying it as a cornerstone of regional stability. He stressed that the partnership with the US, chosen independently by the Philippines, remains integral to maintaining peace and security in the region.

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Shift in Foreign Policy

In a departure from his predecessor’s pro-China stance, President Marcos adopted a more assertive approach, condemning instances of Chinese aggression in Philippine waters. He cited specific incidents of provocative actions by China and emphasized the Philippines’ inherent right to defend its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Expanding Military Cooperation

Under Marcos’s leadership, the Philippines has expanded military cooperation with the United States, increasing the number of bases accessible to US forces. Joint exercises, including air and sea patrols, signify a concerted effort to bolster the nation’s defense capabilities aimed at safeguarding Philippine interests.

Navigating Superpower Rivalry

While acknowledging the complex dynamics of the US-China rivalry, Marcos cautioned against allowing it to overshadow the legitimate maritime interests of other nations in the region. He emphasized the importance of upholding international law and UN principles, urging collective action to counter unlawful incursions and ensure a rules-based order in maritime affairs.

Defending Sovereignty

President Marcos reaffirmed his commitment to enhancing the Philippines’ external defense capabilities to safeguard sovereignty and jurisdiction over its maritime territories. The approval of the military’s acquisition plan reflects the nation’s readiness to assert its rights and interests, ensuring unimpeded resource exploration and exploitation within its EEZ.

Lillian Hocker
Lillian Hocker
Lillian Hocker is a seasoned technology journalist and analyst, specializing in the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, and digital culture. With over a decade of experience, Lillian has contributed insightful articles to leading tech publications. Her work dives deep into emerging technologies, startup ecosystems, and the impact of digital transformation on industries worldwide. Prior to her career in journalism, she worked as a software engineer at a Silicon Valley startup, giving her firsthand experience of the tech industry's rapid evolution.

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