Marcos: PH working on ways to not get caught between US, China

The Philippines is working to avoid being caught in the middle of the two competing world powers, the US and China, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has said in Davos.advertisement

According to the Presidential Communications Office, Marcos was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

He was quoted as saying that the Philippines was increasing its cooperation with the US while developing mechanisms to ease the tension with China amid geopolitical issues in the Asia Pacific.

Marcos mentioned a proverb as regards grass getting trampled while elephants fight.

“We are the grass in this situation. We don’t want to get trampled,” Marcos said.

Marcos said there were 150,000 Filipinos in Taiwan and that its southernmost city Kaohsiung was only 40 minutes away from Batanes.

The Philippines and China also have overlapping claims in the South China Sea even after the Permanent Arbitration Court in The Hague invalidated in 2016 China’s historical claims in favor of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone under the UNCLOS.

Marcos in his recent visit to China said he proposed to Chinese President Xi Jinping that an existing bilateral team responsible for tackling South China Sea incidents be upgraded to include senior officials on both sides.

The PCO said that in a separate interview with the Financial Times, Marcos said he expected intensified military relations with the US, with increased US troops and military assets rotating through the Philippines.

Marcos ruled out the reopening of the former US military bases in Clark and Subic, saying foreign bases weren’t allowed under the country’s Constitution. —NB, GMA Integrated News

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