NEW YORK, USA — As China continues to claim a “territory that belongs to the Philippines,” President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. believes that Manila’s ties with Washington are vital to resolving the issue in the West Philippine Sea.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. meets with members of the Asia Society in New York City on September 23, 2022 (New York time). (Argyll Geducos)

Marcos said this as he met with members of the Asia Society in New York on Friday afternoon, September 23 (New York time).

In an interview with former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who also hosted the event, the President said there are still challenges in the Asia-Pacific Region, and the Philippines’ ties with the US could contribute to keeping tensions at bay.

“They were just bubbling under the surface, and they now have come above the surface. We have to face those challenges, and we have to deal with them,” he said.

“The partnership between the United States and the Philippines is going to be certainly a very, very important part of being able to manage those problems that we have been facing,” he added.

One of these challenges is the claims on the different parts of the South China Sea, and according to Marcos, the Philippines has no territorial conflict with China on the issue.

“The position that the Philippines takes is that we have no territorial conflict with China. What we have [is] China claiming territory that belongs to the Philippines,” he said.

“This is the position we take, and with our American partners, we have promoted that position. We have also made it clear to our friends in Beijing that this is the way we feel about it,” he added.

Despite this, Marcos said in his speech during the same event that the Philippines will continue to work with parties involved to resolve the matter peacefully.

“We will continue to work with China and other claimant states with an end in view of resolving the issues involving the West Philippine Sea through diplomacy and dialogue,” he said.

The Philippines, China, Brunei, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam all have claims in the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, President Marcos reiterated his stand that he will not surrender an inch of Philippine territory as he depends on the US’ peacekeeping role in the region.

“I will not preside over any process that will abandon even a square inch of the territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power,” he said.

“We know that we can count on the United States to uphold the international law-based order, freedom of navigation and overflight, and the sustainability and development of maritime resources. But equally important, we look to the United States to promote peace, security, and prosperity,” he added.

Early this month, President Marcos and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in a bilateral meeting, called for the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

Source: Manila Bulletin (