MANILA Philippines – United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken carried out an official visit to the Philippines on Saturday, August 6, making him the highest-ranking American official so far to visit President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Blinken’s visit comes over three years after a US state secretary last traveled to Manila, and takes place against the backdrop of rising tensions with China involving Taiwan. Beijing is currently holding live-fire exercises around the self-governing island, in retaliation against a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi last August 3.
Marcos said recent developments have demonstrated the intensity of conflict in the region and stressed the importance of ties between the Philippines and the US. Blinken, meanwhile, reaffirmed America’s commitment to defend the Philippines and expressed optimism that defense and ecumenic ties would grow under a new Marcos administration.
Watch Rappler reporter Sofia Tomacruz give the highlights and takeaways of Blinken’s first visit to the Philippines here. – Rappler.com
Read these stories on Blinken’s visit to Manila: