Philippine President Vows to Defend Territory Against Chinese Intrusion, Citing Maritime Disputes

In a stern address to graduating military cadets, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity amid escalating tensions with China in the South China Sea. Without explicitly naming China, Marcos alluded to recent incidents of intrusion and aggression, emphasizing the Philippines’ determination to uphold international law and defend its sovereign rights.

The remarks come amidst a series of confrontations between Manila and Beijing, including incidents of water cannon use resulting in injuries and property damage, the deployment of military-grade lasers against Philippine vessels, and what the Philippines describes as “dangerous maneuvers” in disputed waters. China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea, which overlap with territories claimed by the Philippines and other regional neighbors, have been deemed unlawful by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in a landmark 2016 ruling.

President Marcos’s statement underscores growing frustration and resolve within the Philippines over China’s assertive actions in the strategic maritime region, which serves as a crucial conduit for global trade worth trillions annually. As tensions continue to simmer, Manila remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding the rule of law and safeguarding its territorial sovereignty against external threats.


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