President Joe Biden is set to meet with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on May 1 at the White House. The meeting will focus on deepening economic cooperation, climate change, human rights, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region. This visit comes after the Philippines announced earlier this year that it would allow U.S. forces to broaden their presence in the Southeast Asian nation.
The U.S. has been working to strengthen its military alliances in Asia to better counter China’s influence, including in any future confrontation over Taiwan. The meeting with President Marcos Jr. is part of the U.S.’s efforts to tighten relations with the Philippines and promote stability in the region.
President Marcos Jr. took office last June and is the son and namesake of the country’s former dictator. His visit to the White House will be his second face-to-face meeting with President Biden, following their first meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in September.
The U.S. has long-standing economic and military ties with the Philippines, which has been a key ally in the region for decades. In recent years, the two countries have worked together to address common concerns, including terrorism and maritime security.
The Philippines is strategically located in the Indo-Pacific region and plays a critical role in the U.S.’s regional security strategy. The country is home to several U.S. military bases, including one of the largest American naval facilities outside of the United States.
The U.S. has also been working with the Philippines to promote economic growth and development in the region. The two countries have signed several agreements aimed at expanding trade and investment, including a bilateral trade agreement that was signed in 2019. They are committed to supporting the Philippines in its efforts to address climate change. The two countries have worked together on a range of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote sustainable development, and protect the environment.
However, the Philippines has been criticized in recent years for its human rights record, particularly in relation to its war on drugs, which has been characterized by extrajudicial killings and other abuses. Human rights groups have called on the U.S. to use its influence to pressure the Philippine government to address these concerns.
The U.S. has expressed its support for human rights in the Philippines and has urged the government to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights of its citizens. The meeting between President Biden and President Marcos Jr. is expected to include discussions on human rights and other issues of concern.