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Chinese aggression in the WPS brings Philippines closer to the US, according to Solon

The “aggressive, harassing, and bullying activities” of China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), according to Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Representative Rufus Rodriguez, “are pushing our country to be closer to its long-time ally, the United States.”

“Our only defense treaty ally is the US. According to the Mutual Defense Treaty, we signed in 1951, they are obligated to defend us. It is rather encouraging, he continued, as US officials have frequently stated that their commitments under the treaty would take effect the moment a foreign power attacked us, especially in the South China Sea.

According to Rodriguez, the majority of Filipinos are in favor of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s plan to revive the cordial ties between the Philippines and the US that were present under President Marcos Sr.

He emphasized that “those ties have been damaged by the removal of US military bases during the Aquino administration and by the so-called “China pivot” of the previous administration.”

He emphasized that despite the attempts of the previous Philippine president Duterte to forge stronger ties with Beijing, the nation “received only empty promises of assistance and loans that did not materialize from China.”

“Chinese harassment and bullying of our Coast Guard patrols and fishermen continued inside our own 200-mile exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea, from Pangasinan and Zambales in the north to Palawan in the south,” the official said.

He mentioned how Duterte became so frustrated toward the conclusion of his presidency that he ordered the suspension of loan negotiations with China.

Rodriguez praised President Marcos Jr. for getting the US government to make economic and defense pledges during their meeting on Monday in Washington, D.C.

The US would continue to support the Philippines, particularly in the field of military and security, he added. “We also welcome the assurances of President Biden and President Marcos that diplomatic and economic ties between the Philippines and the US would be further strengthened.”

Along with that, he praised Speaker Martin Romualdez for assisting the Chief Executive in forging stronger ties with the US.

Transport aircraft and patrol ships are part of the most recent aid the US offered Marcos. Additionally, Biden promised to dispatch a trade-investment mission to Manila.

Ahead of the recent “David vs. Goliath” near-collision between a Chinese Coast Guard ship and a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) patrol vessel, Rodriguez had urged Marcos to recall the nation’s ambassador to Beijing.

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