Año: WPS to be discussed during Marcos Indo-Pacific Command visit

HONOLULU – National Security Adviser Eduardo Año on Sunday (PH Time) said the West Philippine Sea situation would be part of the discussions during President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s visit to the Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii.

“It will be part of the discussion,” Año told GMA News Online when asked if the issues in the region would be tackled during Marcos’ visit.

Año, a former military chief, said the “visit manifests the importance of our enduring alliance with [the] US in the face of numerous geopolitical issues in the Indo Pacific region.”

Marcos’ visit to the Indo-Pacific Command will take place amid the ongoing tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

China has since continued its aggression in the resource-rich region as it refuses to recognize the arbitral ruling that invalidates its massive claim in the area.

The Philippine government has been filing diplomatic protests against these Chinese hostile actions.

The President earlier expressed willingness to expand trilateral engagements with Japan and the United States.

The Philippines, United States and Japan are committed to work for a free and open Indo-Pacific and ensure a peaceful resolution of disputes, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.

Meanwhile, during Marcos’ meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 2023 APEC Summit, both leaders agreed that territorial issues in the South China Sea should not be the defining factor of the two countries’ relations.

“We have to continue to communicate. We have to continue to be candid with one another and to be sincere in our desire to keep the peace. And I think that sincerity exists for both all parties involved. I do not think anybody wants to go to war,” Marcos said. — DVM, GMA Integrated News

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