**WASHINGTON, D.C**.—President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he is concerned over the provocations made by China in the South China Sea. ![BBM Harris.jpg](https://storage.googleapis.com/mb-mkt-neo-prod-1-uploads/BBM_Harris_f61908152a/BBM_Harris_f61908152a.jpg) ###### President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. meets with US Vice President Kamala Harris at the Number One Observatory Circle, US Naval Observatory, in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of KJ Rosales/PPA Pool)
During his meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris here on Tuesday morning, May 2, Marcos said the issues arising in the South China Sea are a matter of concern for the Philippines. "As concerned as you could possibly be. It is one of the major issues that we have to face back home," Marcos said when asked how concerned he is with the continued provocation of China in the South China Sea. While the President did not categorically say that the alliance of the Philippines with the United States will help in protecting the region, he stressed that their ties should "just keep going." "Well, cooperation with the United States certainly is just something that we are building upon that has been going on for many, many, many decades. And we just keep going," Marcos said. Harris, on the other hand, said the two countries will continue to work on issues relating to the South China Sea. "And on the issue of security of course, the work that our countries are doing together as it relates to the South China Sea, as it relates to what we must do in terms of continuing to work together through our Coast Guards," Harris said. Marcos stressed that his visit here is a "very attractive opportunity" to strengthen the relationship of the Philippines and US. "I think that has given us the very attractive opportunity to continue to strengthen the relationship between our two countries in the face—in the context of all of the difficulties and complexities, the rising tensions in our region and the world," the President said. Marcos and Harris vowed to boost mutually beneficial partnerships between Manila and Washington on a wide range of areas, such as digital inclusion and clean energy economy. Harris said that both countries have been able "to continue to do the work that we have that is a priority around our mutual prosperity and security." "During my visit to the Philippines, we discussed many issues including the importance of clean energy economy. You and I share a passion for that," Harris said. "As well as issues that relate to food security and what we must do around digital inclusion," Harris added. In November last year, Harris traveled to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, where she met with residents, civil society leaders, and Philippine Coast Guard officials. It was described as a historic visit, as Harris is the highest-ranking US official ever to visit Palawan. The President and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos met with Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff at the Number One Observatory Circle, US Naval Observatory as part of Marcos' five-day visit in Washington.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2023/5/2/marcos-concerned-over-china-s-provocation-in-south-china-sea)