China’s ties with the Philippines are strengthened under Ambassador Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos Jr prepares to speak with foreign correspondents, including Reuters, two days after he landed a landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election, based on an unofficial vote count, at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, May 11. 2022. (Reuters / Girolamo Morales)

Relations between the Philippines and China will grow stronger under the Southeast Asian country’s incoming president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the Chinese ambassador in Manila said Thursday.

Marcos, the son and namesake of a former dictator, won the elections this week with an avalanche of votes, a victory that could reshape his country’s ties with China and the United States.

China was looking forward to working with the new government to improve cooperation, Ambassador Huang Xilian said in a Facebook post.

Marcos has long-standing ties to China and is seeking a new deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping over the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

The Philippines are key in the rivalry between the United States and China. Its maritime territory includes part of the South China Sea, a strategic and resource-rich waterway over which China also claims sovereignty.

The Philippines is a longtime US ally, but Marcos’ victory is a potential blow to US efforts to push China back.

Marcos’s relationship with the United States was complicated by an outrageous court order for his refusal to cooperate with the Hawaii District Court, which in 1995 ordered the Marcos family to pay $ 2 billion in looted wealth to the victims of Marcos Rule of Sr.

Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, said Wednesday that the United States was seeking early engagement with the Marcos administration, though he added that historical considerations meant there would likely be “some initial challenges. “.

LIGHT: The United States welcomes Marcos’ victory in the Philippines – Blinken

US President Joe Biden called Marcos to congratulate him on his victory and said he was looking forward to strengthening their alliance, the White House said.

LIGHT: Biden called Marcos to congratulate him on the presidential election

—Reported by Neil Jerome Morales Writing by Ed Davies Editing by Robert Birsel