Geopolitics behind Philippines’ urge to look for new partners, says … – Anadolu Agency | English


Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Tuesday said the shifting dynamics of geopolitics in the Asia-Pacific region was the cause behind Manila’s urge to seek new security and defense partners.

“It is not traditional for us to look to Europe … to seek alliances and partnerships when it comes to security and defense. But that seems to be the evolution, the geopolitics these days. It is a welcome evolution in my view,” Marcos said during a meeting with the visiting British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly in Manila.

“And… your (James Cleverly) visit here, I think, is a clear indication of that intent,” Marcos said, according to Manila-based

Cleverly, who is on a one-day official visit to Manila, is the first British foreign secretary to visit the Philippines in more than seven years.

He described the UK and the Philippines as “very much like-minded, with very, very similar attitudes to global affairs.”

The visiting British foreign secretary said that the two countries have “very similar appetites to try and make the most of the bilateral relationship as well as the UK’s focus on Southeast Asia.”

Under Marcos, Manila has seen a swift shift towards its Western allies where it has sought to strengthen defense and economic ties amid maritime tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea.

Before he met Marcos, Cleverly held discussions with his Philippines counterpart Enrique Manalo.

Cleverly said that trade between the two nations has “reached its highest level in history. Around 2.4 billion pounds (over $3 billion, approximately) per year in goods and services, but of course, we expect … that number still further (increase)… this was one of the issues we’ve discussed,” Cleverly told a joint news conference with Manalo.

Referring to the UK’s “new trading scheme” to improve Filipino exports to the UK, Cleverly said: “We’ve broadened our maritime cooperation, including sharing knowledge on maritime law, promoting maritime domain awareness, and advancing environmental protection.”

He further said that the UK has provided support to the Philippines in responding to the “unavoidable consequences” of climate change, especially in coastal regions and maritime environments.

“The UK is building enduring partnerships and the Philippines is one of those key partners,” he added.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.

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