Biden, Xi congratulate Marcos

Both look to stronger political, trade ties with incoming administration

United States President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, along with ambassadors and political leaders from various countries, have conveyed their intention to strengthen alliances with the administration of presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Presumptive President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.

In a statement, the White House said Biden called to congratulate Marcos on May 11 (US time).

“President Biden underscored that he looks forward to working with the President-elect to continue strengthening the US-Philippine alliance, while expanding bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues, including the fight against

COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, promoting broad-based economic growth, and respect for human rights,” the White House said.

Xi, for his part, recognized the Philippines and China as “partners through thick and thin” as “neighbors facing each other across the sea.”

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“In recent years, with the joint efforts of both sides, the bilateral relations have been consolidated and enhanced, bringing benefits to the people of both countries and contributing to regional peace and stability,” said Xi in a statement released by the Chinese embassy in Manila.

Biden called Marcos around 9 a.m. (local time) and congratulated him on his overwhelming election victory.

“Marcos was grateful for the acknowledgment of his victory by the American president,” the Marcos camp said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden

“The two leaders spoke of strengthening of ties in trade and diplomacy, as well as their common interest in democracy, self-determination, economic recovery,” the statement added.

Marcos assured Biden that “the Philippines has always held the United States in high regard as a friend, an ally, and a partner.”

“I have also invited President Biden to my inaugural on June 30, which could further fortify the relationship of the two countries,” Marcos said.

Marcos spokesman and chief-of-staff Vic Rodriguez said the Philippines’ relationship with the US “will get better” under the Marcos administration.

“As far as our relationship with the United States, under the administration of president-elect Bongbong, I assure you now that it will get better,” Rodriguez said, in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

Rodriguez said Marcos’s foreign policy will be “inclusive” while also ensuring that the interests of the Filipino people come first and are never compromised.

“What I can tell you, you can expect and look forward to a better relationship with our longtime partner and ally, the United States,” Rodriguez said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping

“We will not be exclusive to anyone. The interest of the Filipino people and the national interest comes first and will never be compromised especially on our territorial integrity. It will never be compromised,” he said.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian also extended his congratulatory message to Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Huang expressed confidence the Philippines will demonstrate “unprecedented unity” under the incoming administration which would help the country to “rise above all challenges, recover from the pandemic and prosper.”

“I have no doubt that under the next administration, our bilateral relations will only become stronger, our peoples closer and our cooperation deeper and wider,” Huang said.

“We look forward to working with the next Philippine government to upgrade our relationship of comprehensive strategic cooperation to a new height and bring more tangible benefits to the peoples of our two countries,” he added.

Ambassadors and political leaders from several countries have conveyed their messages of congratulations to Marcos.

The ambassadors who were first to greet Marcos were Ambassadors Hajah Johariah binti Haji Wahab of Brunei Darussalam, Ilan Fluss of Israel, and F. M. Borhan Uddin of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, a legislator from the Bicol region on Thursday appealed for national unity following the “highly polarized” May 9 elections and called on all Filipinos to rally behind the presumptive President-elect “who is the clear choice of a majority of our voters.”

“With his key pronouncements during the presidential campaign season, I am confident that BBM would genuinely pursue a political and economic agenda that would restore us back to the path of high and inclusive growth after it stumbled across speed bumps over the past two years as a result of the once-in-a-century pandemic and, later, the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte of Camarines Sur said.

Villafuerte said Marcos wants the Filipino people to judge him not by his ancestors but by his own actions; and has promised to be the President of both those who had voted for him and those who did not, and—in keeping with his central campaign message of unity—to seek common ground in working together to unite the nation.

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