MANILA – If Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden secures the White House, it will be good for the Philippines amid its continuing maritime dispute with China, a think tank said Thursday.
A Biden administration will establish a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific Region as Beijing continues its aggressive moves in the South China Sea, Stratbase ADR Institute president Dindo Manhit said.
“What's good with a Biden presidency, there will be a renewed confidence and respectability with regard to American leadership globally, not only in Asia Pacific, but also in Europe,” Manhit told ANC.
“It gives more credibility for American power or soft power or influence around the world. That would be good for the Philippines because a key ally in our own security challenges, in our own maritime dispute, has always been the United States.”
Manhit noted that the US actions in the strategic waterway, where other countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam also have competing claims, did not come from incumbent President Donald Trump but from its state and defense departments.
If Biden wins the election, the US will strengthen its alliances with like-minded countries, shifting from Trump’s America-centric policies.
“His foreign policy, if you read through it and dig deep to it, it speaks of invigorating democracies. That means building renewed alliances among like-minded democratic society that share their values,” Manhit said of Biden.
“And that’s what we need in this world. A liberal democratic world that has created prosperity around the world and uplifted poverty.”
Asked if a Biden presidency will affect the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has sought friendlier ties with China and Russia, he said it remains to be seen.
Manhit said Biden may focus on domestic challenges in his first year in office while Duterte has only less than 2 years left in his term.
“There might be not too much noise on interfering in other countries' internal affairs. But maybe, more on global issues especially in dealing with the pandemic, dealing with economic consequences of this long public health crisis… There might not be traction initially,” Manhit said.
Biden on Thursday (Manile time) predicted a U.S. election win over President Donald Trump after pivotal victories in Michigan and Wisconsin, while the Republican incumbent sought to offset a narrowing path to re-election with lawsuits and demands for a recount.
Victories in those Midwestern states gave Biden, a former vice president who has spent five decades in public life, a critical boost in the race to obtain 270 electoral votes in the state-by-state Electoral College needed to win the White House.
Trump, who won both states in 2016, now has fewer options to secure a second four-year term. With the count still under way, he has falsely declared victory, accused the Democrats of trying to steal the election and vowed to fight the states in court. - With a report from Reuters