Philippines-US relations

Biden to host first trilateral summit with Marcos, Kishida at White House 

Bea Cupin

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Biden to host first trilateral summit with Marcos, Kishida at White House 

LEADERS. US President Joe Biden with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., walks through the colonnade of the White House in Washington DC, before the bilateral meeting, on May 1, 2023.

KJ Rosales/PPA Pool

Washington will host the first ever US-Japan-Philippines leaders' summit on April 11

MANILA, Philippines – US President Joe Biden will host Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japan Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in Washington DC for the first trilateral leaders’ summit of the United States, the Philippines, and Japan in April, the White House announced on Monday, March 18 (Tuesday, March 19 in Manila).

Biden to host first trilateral summit with Marcos, Kishida at White House 

“At the summit, the leaders will advance a trilateral partnership built on deep historical ties of friendship, robust and growing economic relations, a proud and resolute commitment to shared democratic values, and a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

The summit will be held on April 11.

The White House said the US will “reaffirm ironclad alliances” with the Philippines and Japan, which are US treaty allies. Marcos, Biden, and Kishida are expected to discuss how the trilateral relationship could push forward economic growth, clean energy, climate cooperation, and “further peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.” 

Marcos and Biden will have a separate meeting to “review the historic momentum in US-Philippines relations and discuss efforts to expand cooperation on economic security, clean energy, people-to-people ties, and human rights and democracy.”

“The President will reaffirm the ironclad alliance between the United States and the Philippines and emphasize US commitment to upholding international law and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said the White House. 

Biden will host Kishida on the eve of the summit for an official visit and a state dinner on April 10. 

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The first trilateral summit of the three countries comes amid the intensifying competition between superpowers the US and China. It also comes as China amps ups its claims and activities in the South China Sea, to the detriment of claimant states, including the Philippines which had won an arbitral award in 2016 invalidating China’s expansive claims in the area.

Marcos, Kishida, and US Vice President Kamala Harris had an informal meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Jakarta back in September 2023. 

The foreign ministers of the three countries met the same month, laying down the foundation of a trilateral cooperation between the US and two of its Asian treaty-allies. 

Marcos last met with Biden in the White House in May 2023, during an official working visit where the US and Philippines announced updated guidelines for its Mutual Defense Treaty, among others. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.