Marcos, Kamala discuss maritime security in South China Sea
Marcos, Kamala discuss maritime security in South China Sea
Marcos, Kamala discuss maritime security in South China Sea
by Christhel Cuazon07 September 2023
Photo courtesy: House Speaker Martin Romualdez Twitter

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. and United States Vice President Kamala Harris met on Wednesday during the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.

According to a readout shared by The White House, Marcos and Kamala discussed "opportunities to deepen commercial and economic cooperations" as well as the two countries "shared commitment to upholding the rules-based international order."

"This meeting builds on President Biden’s and Vice President Harris’ bilateral meetings with President Marcos in Washington D.C. in May 2023 and the Vice President’s November 2022 trip to the Philippines," the White House said.

"The Vice President reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad alliance commitment to the Philippines, and highlighted the role the U.S.-Philippines alliance plays in ensuring a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific," it added.


Marcos Jr. and Kamala likewise discussed the maritime security environment in the South China Sea and reviewed opportunities to enhance bilateral maritime cooperation, including alongside like-minded partners.

Aside from the South China Sea issue, the leaders also “welcomed” the additional Philippine military bases that were opened to American troops, noting that this “will drive US investment to local communities across the Philippines and improve our shared ability to rapidly deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

In response, Marcos Jr. extended his gratitude to Kamal for participating in the "trilateral maritime exercises conducted among the Coast Guards of the Philippines, Japan, and the United States, which is aimed at strengthening humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) cooperation."

"The US has always been an ally and an indispensable partner of ASEAN," he said.


In his intervention during the 43rd ASEAN Summit Retreat, the Philippine President urged ASEAN leaders to not allow the international order to be subjected to the forces of might or "hegemonic ambition" with regard to the issue of the South China Sea.

“History will ultimately judge whether the supremacy of the rule of law prevails, ushering in an era where all nations truly stand as equals, independent and unswayed by any single power," the President said.


“The challenge for us remains: that we should never allow the international order to be subjected to the forces of might applied for a hegemonic ambition,” he added.


Despite not directly naming China in his speech, Marcos called out nations that were peddling “misleading narratives“ in the South China Sea.

Marcos is set to travel to the United States to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco in November.

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