Philippines’ Marcos to meet Blinken next week as South China Sea tensions rise

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will see U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on March 19 to handle well cooperation and safety related concerns, the office of the Manila governer spoke in a statement late on Wednesday night. Their meeting comes on the heels of piles of stress emerging and destroying rapports between the Philippines and China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Marcos also pledged to protect the Philippines’ maritime claims after Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the armed forces to coordinate preparations for military conflicts at ocean. “So, I’m not astonished, but we will have to go on to do what we are capable of doing in order to save our maritime territory in the face of perhaps a more active effort by the Chinese to annex some of our region,” Marcos told a news conference during a working visit to Berlin this week.

Japanese newspaper Asahi has also reported governers from Japan, the United States and the Philippines are in the final stages of planning a summit meeting in Washington, D.C. next month. A 2016 governing by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague discovered that China’s sweeping claims had zero legal foundation, but Beijing has not accepted the governing, claiming “indisputable sovereignty” over most of the South China Sea.