Philippines Ramps Up Protests Against China With Marcos in Power

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(Bloomberg) -- In just over 70 days under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Philippines has lodged 52 protests against Beijing over the South China Sea, signaling pushback from the new government amid an ongoing territorial dispute.

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The diplomatic protests were filed due to China’s “incursions” and “illegal presence” in the South China Sea, including the conduct of maritime scientific research, Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesperson Teresita Daza said in a mobile-phone message Tuesday.

That’s more than a tenth of the 388 protests lodged with Beijing during the six-year term of Marcos’s predecessor Rodrigo Duterte.

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The two nations have been locked in a dispute in the resource-rich waters that also serve as a key shipping passage. Marcos has pledged to resolve tensions and warm ties with China, with his government expressing openness to new talks on oil and gas exploration with Beijing.

Still, the Philippine leader has said that he will not cede a square inch of territory to any foreign power. He has also said that he would maintain the Southeast Asian nation’s longtime military alliance with the US.

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