The vice president of USA, Kamala Harrisarrived this Sunday at Philippineswhere he will meet with the president of the country, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.in a visit that is expected to strengthen the security alliance between the Asian archipelago and the world’s leading power.
harris came to Philippines at 18:53 local time (GMT+8) after participating in Bangkok in the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), in a week in which the US president, Joe Biden, was also in the region, in Bali, participating in the meeting of leaders of the G20 until Wednesday.
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The US vice president will meet on Monday with Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a meeting that is expected to strengthen the historic security alliance between the two countries, after the steps back taken during the administration of his predecessor, Rodrigo Dutertewhich announced a closer rapprochement with China.
Inaugurated president on June 30, Marcos Jr. has tried to redirect the focus of Philippine foreign policy, after Duterte even temporarily struck down an agreement that allows the US to maintain a military presence in the archipelago.
The agreement, which went into effect in 1999, provides legal cover for US troops to enter Philippines for joint maneuvers.
In addition, the Philippines and the US maintain other more important security treaties, such as the Mutual Defense Agreement, which dates from 1951.
During Marcos Jr.’s short term, there have been several high-level meetings with the United States, including a meeting between the president and Biden during his trip to the US in September, in which he wanted to emphasize that the Philippines considers to the US as a “friend and partner”.
Harris’s visit is expected to go in this direction, and the vice president also has a trip planned Tuesday to the province of Palawan, a neighbor of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea and disputed between China and the Philippines, from where she will defend international law, flexing muscle against Beijing.
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harris arrives at Philippinesa country that tries to maintain equidistance between China and the US, one day after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, on the fringes of APEC, in which he insisted on keeping communication open between the two powers.
The US vice president’s trip to the Philippines comes as part of weeks of intense diplomacy in the Southeast Asia region, after Biden and Xi met on the sidelines of the G20 on Monday.
A meeting that resulted in a certain thaw between the world’s leading economies, although both continue to mark ground in the Indo-Pacific, their main workhorse, as Harris’s trip to the Philippines shows.