Date: 22 May 2023

The U.S. Visit of President Marcos Jr. New Resulting in the New U.S., Philippines Defense Guidelines

From 30th of April to 4th of May 2023, an official visit of the Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took place in the U.S. President Marcos’ second visit was an opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation and a symbol of the Philippines’ ships towards the United States.

SOURCE: OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY

The most significant moment of the president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visit was a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House. Following the meeting, White House issued the guidelines saying its commitment to defend Philippines will apply to the maritime region, where Manila, for a year has seen incursions by Chinese ships. Extended U. S., mutual defence commitments will protect the Philippines coast guard, vessels, aircraft, and armed force in the case of an attack “anywhere in the South China Sea”.
 
The guidelines also include Philippines’ defence modernization. Furthermore, they recognise “hybrid and irregular warfare and gray-zone tactics like using non-naval vessels such as fishing boats as an informal maritime militia”.
 
In the guidelines, China was not officially named as a threat, but was criticised for using grey-zone tactics in the South China Sea. In response, Beijing’s Foreign Ministry “firmly opposes any country’s move to interfere in the South China Sea issue to harm China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.”
 
After many years of manoeuvring between China’s regional economic expansion and the protection of the U.S. the Philippines has unequivocally sided with the U.S., thus strengthening U.S. position in the South China Sea. Therefore, the visit of the President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has become a clear sign to other countries in the region regarding taking sides with China or the U.S.
 

Szymon Polewka is a student of international relations at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, specializing in the history of international relations, the Eurasian region, DACHL countries, intercultural relations, and the energy sector. He is currently on a scholarship at the University of Bremen. He has gained experience organizing the 2020 Economic Forum in Karpacz and numerous youth and student associations, such as AIESEC or Koło Naukowe Wyzwań Zielonego Ładu.

 
Sources:

1. Clarified U.S. Defense Commitments Rock the Boat in the South China Sea, Stratfor, May 5, 2023:
https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/clarified-us-defense-commitments-rock-boat-south-china-sea

2. Kurlantzick J., President Marcos Jr. Meets With President Biden—But the U.S. Position in Southeast Asia is Increasingly Shaky, Council on Foreign Relations, May 2, 2023
https://www.cfr.org/blog/president-marcos-jr-meets-president-biden-us-position-southeast-asia-increasingly-shaky

3. Zhang A., US, Philippines Issue New South China Sea Defense Guidelines, voanews, May 04, 2023:
https://www.voanews.com/a/us-philippines-issue-new-south-china-sea-defense-guidelines/7079809.html

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