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Biden Vows ‘Ironclad’ Support To Philippines Amid China Threats

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President Joe Biden on Monday said the U.S. would intervene militarily in case of a potential attack on its ally amid rising tensions with Xi Jinping‘s China.  

What Happened: Biden reassured his Philippines counterpart Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the U.S. commitment to the defense of its ally was “ironclad,” including in the South China Sea, where Beijing is putting pressure on Manila.

On his first visit to the White House in 10 years, Marcos highlighted the significance of Washington as the only treaty ally of the Philippines in a region with “arguably the most complicated geopolitical situation in the world right now.”

See Also: US Rejected From Storing Weapons In Philippines To Defend Taiwan Against Possible Chinese Attack

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“President Biden reaffirms the United States’ ironclad alliance commitments to the Philippines, underscoring that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea, would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments,” Biden told Marcos in the Oval Office.

Why It Matters: During Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ relations with the U.S. deteriorated as he shifted the country’s foreign policy away from its former colonial power towards Beijing.

Meanwhile, Marcos has been trying to maintain good relationships with the U.S. and China — the duo trying to gain influence in the Indo-Pacific region. The Biden-Marcos joint statement also refrained from naming the Chinese government, but the statement was indirectly aimed at Xi’s administration. 

Read Next: Xi Jinping Seems To Be Preparing To ‘Launch War,’ Says Taiwan Minister: ‘Chinese Leaders Will Think Twice’

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