Marcos: PH-US ties rising from ‘turbulent times’ | Global News

Marcos: PH-US ties rising from ‘turbulent times’

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:36 AM May 04, 2023

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Joe Biden

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. takes a stroll with US President Joe Biden at the White House. (Photo from the President Communications Office)

WASHINGTON—Diplomatic relations between the United States and the Philippines have not only survived “turbulent times” but are now on the upswing.

That’s how President Marcos put it as he acknowledged the initiatives of US President Joe Biden to boost defense and trade cooperation between the two countries.


Speaking at Monday night’s dinner hosted by the Philippine Embassy, the President said diplomatic relations between Washington and Manila had gone through “turbulent times.”


“Like two friends, you go to turbulent times when there are misunderstandings, when there are difficulties, when other forces prevail upon both sides of the partnership,” said the President, apparently referring to his predecessor’s pivot to China, in exchange for aid and investment, despite the maritime dispute between the Philippines and the Asian powerhouse.

“But between the Philippines and the United States, we have prevailed through all that like a true friendship,” he said at the event attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top American officials.

Navigating these “troubled waters,” Mr. Marcos said, would require “strong partners … strong allies.”

In response, Blinken said Mr. Marcos’ leadership had created job opportunities not only for Filipinos, but also for Americans with the reinvigorated trade partnership between the two countries.

“Last year, trade between our countries was worth more than $25 billion, a new record. And today, President Biden announced that he will send the first-ever presidential trade and investment mission to the Philippines,” Blinken added.

Meeting the Harrises

In his visit to the official residence of US Vice President Kamala Harris here on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), Mr. Marcos thanked the second highest American official for her role in rekindling relations between the longtime treaty allies, which turned icy during the Duterte administration.


Accompanied by first lady Liza Araneta Marcos, the President’s brief meeting with Harris took place a day after his Oval Office meeting with Biden.

“(My visit here) has given us the very, very attractive opportunity to continue to strengthen the relationship between our two countries … in the context of all of the difficulties and complexities, the rising tensions in our region and the world,” Mr. Marcos told Harris. “We’re very, very happy to be here, to get this opportunity to speak with you and to have spoken with your President.”

“And once again, we turn to our American partners, our only treaty partner in the world,” he said. “And it is natural … like any friendship, we go through many cycles and I think this is an upside now to that cycle.”

Harris, along with her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, flew to Manila in November last year, the first time in five years that a US official of such high rank visited the Philippines.

Emhoff, a lawyer, had also attended Mr. Marcos’ inauguration as the country’s 17th President on June 30.

Recalling her Manila visit, Harris thanked Mr. Marcos for his own efforts to warm up bilateral engagements, saying: “I want to thank you because the strength of the alliance between the United States and the Philippines is probably stronger now.” Major concern

“And through your leadership, we have been able to continue to do the work that we have that is a priority around our mutual prosperity and security,” she added.

Harris also acknowledged the President’s support for her advocacies in clean energy and food security.

Speaking to journalists later, Mr. Marcos cited China’s aggressive acts in the South China Sea as a major concern of his administration.

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“As concerned as you could possibly be,” he said, when asked to elaborate. “It is one of the major issues that we have to face back home.”


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