Philippines foreign minister says challenge is how to sustain, elevate US-Philippines alliance


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo speaks during the Maritime Cooperation Forum of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, in Melbourne, Australia March 4, 2024. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy/File Photo

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ foreign minister said on Tuesday the challenge ahead was how to sustain and further elevate relations between his country and long-term ally, the United States.

Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo thanked visiting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a joint press conference for his country’s support with regard to recent incidents in the South China Sea.

The Philippines and China have in recent months exchanged sharp rebukes and protests over each other’s actions in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway that carries through it trillions of dollars worth of global trade every year.

Manalo said his country was committed to managing disputes in accordance with a rules-based order.

Blinken said, “We have shared concerns with China’s actions that threaten our common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Waterways are critical to the interests of the region, the United States and the world.”

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