Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Stands Firm on Defending Territory

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Stands Firm on Defending Territory

In an address to the Australian parliament, President Marcos emphasized that he would not tolerate any foreign attempts to infringe on the Philippines' sovereign territory. This stance reflects the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea, where China's expansive claims have sparked conflicts with neighboring countries like the Philippines.

The South China Sea serves as a crucial thoroughfare for over $3 trillion in annual ship-borne trade and has become a focal point of disputes between countries in the region. Manila has accused Beijing of aggressive actions within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), a claim supported by an international tribunal's ruling in 2016. China, however, has rejected this decision and asserts its rights over the contested waters.

President Marcos highlighted the global significance of protecting the South China Sea, emphasizing that its stability is essential for regional and even global peace. He stressed the importance of maintaining open seas, unimpeded passage, and freedom of navigation in the area, asserting the Philippines' interest in safeguarding these principles.

During his official visit to Australia, President Marcos is preparing to attend a special summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Melbourne, further underscoring the diplomatic engagements in the region.