Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Philippine President Warns of Growing Chinese Threat

Wed 20 Mar 2024 | 04:24 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

In a recent interview with Bloomberg Television at the Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed concerns over the escalating threat posed by China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. 

Marcos emphasized that while his government is committed to asserting sovereignty over disputed areas, its efforts are not intended to provoke conflict with China.

"We are trying to keep things stable," Marcos stated, acknowledging the challenge of defending Philippine territories amidst increasing risks.

Since assuming office in 2022, Marcos has strengthened the Philippine military and coast guard operations, enhancing support for isolated forward positions and safeguarding fishermen reliant on these waters for generations.

The longstanding dispute between the Philippines and China over a series of contested coral reefs and islands has become a critical point of contention in the region, also involving Taiwan.

Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during his visit to Manila, reassured the Philippines of unwavering American support amid rising tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

Recent years have seen frequent incidents between China and the Philippines in these waters, involving geopolitical issues, fishing rights, and natural resources like oil and natural gas, in addition to the security of navigation routes.

China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, a crucial maritime passage believed to be rich in marine and mineral resources. 

Other claimants to sovereignty in the sea include the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.