Agusan del Norte 1st district Rep. Lawrence Fortun said Sunday that the Philippines can expect more support from the United States on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue now that Democrat Joe Biden has been named president-elect.

wps 1024x683 - PH to get ‘categorical support’ from Biden presidency on WPS issue, says solon
(AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The election of Joe Biden to the presidency of the United States of America is good for geopolitics in the neighborhood of the Philippines here in the Asia-Pacific. His election is a pushback against China’s foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific Region,” said Fortun, a Minority bloc member.

“We expect emphasized and categorical support for the assertion of the ruling on the West Philippine Sea disputes by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague,” he reckoned.

“We will see a resurgence of the foreign policies the Obama administration had,” the Mindanao congressman further said.

Biden served for eight years as the vice president of former US President Barack Obama, who in September 2016 called on China to abide by its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The PCA ruling–which invalidated China’s controversial nine-dash line claim over the entire South China Sea–was awarded to the Philippines, the country that brought the case, in July that year.

The WPS is located within the South China Sea. The Philippines and China are both signatories of UNCLOS.

“The tenor of bilateral and multilateral talks will be civil, methodical, and problem-solving oriented,” noted Fortun, somewhat alluding to Biden’s reputation as a seasoned diplomat.

Aside from this, Fortun said the incoming US administration would also impact the Philippines in the realm of “targeted aid.”

“Expect USAID and the Millennium Challenge Corporation to be more active in the Philippines. Expect more targeted aid for the protection and promotion of human rights and fighting corruption. Expect more US assistance for peace in Mindanao and adherence to environmental protection and conservation,” he said.

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