US-PH have opportunity to further strengthen relations: policy expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2022 11:15 AM

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United States Vice President Kamala Harris’ face to face meeting with President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr underscores the US’ commitment to continue long-standing its relations with the Philippines and Southeast Asia, said Milken Institute Asia Center Chairperson Curtis Chin on Monday.

Philippines is among the US’ longest allies in the region, Chin told ANC.

“President Biden and the Vice President Harris have made it clear that this trip was about underscoring that the United States remains very much engaged in this region, the Southeast Asia,” Chin said. 

“I’m very excited that Vice President and President Marcos are meeting. Clearly you can do Zoom, but there’s nothing like meeting in person,” he added.

With the new administration, there is “certainly an opportunity to take this relationship to an even higher level,” he added.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte has shown preference to China during his term.

Meanwhile, Marcos has completed his first working trip to the US to attend the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). 

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez also said Marcos might visit the US twice in 2023.

Harris, who arrived in the Philippines Sunday, is set to visit Palawan, near the West Philippine Sea. This will also reaffirm the US’ support for the Philippines as an ally and as well as to push for the international maritime laws

The US, Philippines and China will also benefit from mutual cooperation, he added.

“It’s important for China, US and the Philippines to talk because at the end of the day we all benefit from greater cooperation,” Chin said

Chin said aside from security, Harris and Marcos should also discuss economic potential.