May 1, 2023 -WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to host President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines for White House talks Monday as concerns grow about the Chinese navy’s harassment of Philippine vessels in the South China Sea.
Marcos’ visit to Washington comes after the U.S. and the Philippines last week completed their largest war drills ever and as the two countries’ air forces on Monday will hold their first joint fighter jet training in the Philippines since 1990. The Philippines this year agreed to give the U.S. access to four more bases on the islands as the U.S. looks to deter China’s increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan and in the disputed South China Sea.
Meanwhile, China has angered the Philippines by repeatedly harassing its navy and coast guard patrols and chasing away fishermen in waters that are close to Philippine shores but that Beijing claims as its o
Before departing for Washington on Sunday, Marcos said he was “determined to forge an ever stronger relationship with the United States in a wide range of areas that not only address the concerns of our times but also those that are critical to advancing our core interests.”
Monday’s Oval Office meeting is the latest high-level diplomacy with Pacific leaders by Biden as his administration contends with increased military and economic assertiveness by China and worries about North Korea’s nuclear program. Marcos’ official visit to Washington is the first by a Philippine president in more than 10 years.