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Sec State Blinken To Follow ASEAN Summit With "Bongbong" Marcos Meeting


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to South East Asia next week to attend the US-ASEAN ministers meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

  • After the ASEAN meeting Blinken will travel to Manila, Phillipines to meet with President Ferdinand Romualdez "Bongbong"Marcos and to "discuss efforts to strengthen the U.S.-Philippine alliance."
  • According to the State Department the ASEAN summit will focus on COVID-19, climate change, Myanmar, and the war in Ukraine.
  • Many analysts viewed the election of Marcos as a victory for China in the region. Reuters carried a headline reading: "Marcos as Philippine president a boon for China, awkward for U.S."
  • According to Reuters, Marcos sought a new deal with China that would allow Beijing greater influence in a corner of the South China Sea which had traditionally acted as a fulcrum of US foreign policy.
  • Last month, Marcos told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that China is “the Philippines’ most powerful partner,” and accepted an invitation to visit China.
  • Blinken will be hoping that his visit can convince Marcos that the US remains a more dependable partner than China. Especially considering recent polling suggesting that public opinion within the Philippines remains more favourable towards Washington than Beijing.
  • Moreover, although China-Philippines talks have appeared initially cordial the disputes over territorial waters were a hot-topic during presidential elections and are likely to become a lightning rod for criticism if Marcos is percived as too lenient on China.

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