Blinken looks forward to US, Japan, PH trilateral meeting

Blinken looks forward to US, Japan, PH trilateral summit in April

/ 03:48 PM March 19, 2024

Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines, the United States (US), and Japan will discuss ways to uphold international law in the upcoming trilateral summit on April 11, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

This comes as tensions continue to rise in the West Philippine Sea following several incidents in the disputed waters involving collisions between Chinese and Filipino vessels and the use of water cannons on Filipino ships by the Chinese Coast Guard.

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READ: PH, Japan, US to hold first ever trilateral leaders’ summit on April 11

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Shared interests

In a press briefing held in Pasay City, Blinken told reporters that the summit between the countries’ leaders seeks to recognize and address topics regarding the shared interests of the three countries in the Indo-Pacific region, more critically, in preserving international law.

“(It’s) something that all three [countries] feel very strongly about,” he explained.

In the same press conference, Blinken said that Beijing’s actions toward the Filipino fishers and troops in the West Philippine Sea are clear violations of international law and Filipino rights.

Better cooperation

Beyond security in the region, the summit also seeks to establish better cooperation in economic growth in the areas of clean energy and emerging technologies in the Indo-Pacific, according Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo. This affirms the earlier statement made by US Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre.

READ: Blinken to boost US-PH ties in Manila visit

“The basic aim, essentially, is to reaffirm our historical ties with friendship, our commitment to share democratic values, our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and how to further promote prosperity, security, and peace of our peoples in the region,” Manalo explained.

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“We are stronger when we do it together and bring together all the complementaries that we have. So that’s really what the summit’s about,” Blinken added.

The trilateral summit, which will be held at the White House, will include US President Joe Biden, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.

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Blinken will be in the Philippines from March 18 to 19. He is set to meet with President Marcos at Malacañan Palace on Tuesday afternoon.

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: Antony Blinken, Summit, West Philippine Sea

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