Peaceful Diplomacy: President Marcos’ Statement on Philippines’ Approach

Peaceful Diplomacy President Marcos' Statement on Philippines' Approach

Amidst growing maritime tensions with China, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. declared on Sunday that his nation is not in the business of starting wars and will always seek to settle problems amicably.

In a speech to soldiers of the Western Command unit in charge of keeping an eye on the South China Sea, Marcos stated, “In defending the nation, we stay true to our Filipino nature that we would like to settle all these issues peacefully.”

During a normal resupply trip by Manila in the South China Sea last week, there was a fight between Philippine naval troops and the Chinese coast guard. It was reported that vessels were destroyed and a sailor was seriously hurt.

The Philippine military claimed that Chinese Coast Guard members, armed with knives and spears, stole weapons and “deliberately punctured” Philippine boats that were part of the operation.

China refuted the Philippine account, stating on Thursday that the necessary actions were beyond reproach, professional, and lawful, according to a spokesman for the foreign ministry.

In his speech, Marcos made no mention of China but praised the troops for showing restraint “amidst intense provocation” and declared that his nation will always exercise its rights and freedoms in accordance with international law.

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“In the performance of our duties, we will not resort to the use of force or intimidation, or deliberately inflict injury or harm to anyone,” Marcos stated. “We stand firm. Our calm and peaceful disposition should not be mistaken for acquiescence.”

A possible flashpoint between Washington and Beijing is the extremely crucial South China Sea, as seen by recent naval run-ins between China and the Philippines, an ally of the United States in Southeast Asia recognized by treaty.

In accordance with their mutual defense treaty, the United States has denounced China’s activities and reiterated its unwavering defense pledges against any attack on Philippine planes or vessels in the South China Sea.

However, the Philippines declared on Friday that China’s actions, which security experts have called escalatory, could not be considered a “armed attack” and that there was no justification for invoking the treaty.

Parts of the South China Sea, which is a route for more than $3 trillion in yearly shipborne trade, are claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, but China controls nearly the whole area.

“We are not in the business to instigate wars – our great ambition is to provide a peaceful and prosperous life for every Filipino,” Marcos stated. “We refuse to play by the rules that force us to choose sides in a great power competition.”


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