âPhilippines-US relationship, truly specialâ
Institute of World Politics research professor Paul Coyer.
‘Philippines-US relationship, truly special’
THIS WEEK ON PEOPLEASIA - Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2020 - 12:00am

I can proudly say that Filipino-Americans estimated at 4.3 million are well appreciated all over the United States and in the communities where they live and work. The deep people-to-people ties that have grown stronger over the years make the relationship between the United States and the Philippines truly special.”

This was the opening statement for my presentation titled “Philippines-US Relations in a Changing Indo-Pacific” at the lecture forum organized by and held at the Institute of World Politics (IWP) recently.

IWP’s research professor Paul Coyer noted during his introduction that “we are facing a time in the 21st century wherein the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific are in rapid flux, and so we’re here to hear about the changing environment and the bilateral relationship.”

Regarding the state of the Philippines-United States alliance, I emphasized, “While we continue to work towards nurturing and strengthening our long-standing partnerships with traditional allies led by the United States, the Philippines also manages friendships with other countries in order for us to be able to fully explore our potential for economic development and uphold our national interest.”

I also further outlined the extensive Phl-US collaborative work, including at the military front as evidenced by the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), counterterrorism, law enforcement, and human trafficking.

“In this environment of heightened competition between the US and China, we need to recognize the inherent value of ASEAN centrality in our region’s affairs, which can build confidence, deepen integration, and foster unity among ourselves and hopefully among our dialogue partners as well — the US and China included,” I added, highlighting the role of ASEAN in the Indo-Pacific region and the Philippine position in the South China Sea that is “in accordance with international law.”

I also underscored our shared history and economic cooperation with the US, which is the third major trading partner of the Philippines.

I also implored all countries “to respect our laws and our processes just as we are expected to respect theirs,” pointing out that “the Philippines and the United States are long-time friends and allies, and the Philippines comes into this friendship as an independent and sovereign state that stands in parity with all other states.”

I also fielded various questions from the audience touching on the South China Sea, Vietnam’s ASEAN chairmanship, and the upcoming US-ASEAN meeting, among others. The presentation was live streamed via IWP’s Facebook page.

The IWP is an independent graduate school that supplies professional education in statecraft, national security, and international affairs.

 

 

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