Biden to host Marcos for talks at White House next month

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will host Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for talks at the White House next month as the U.S. looks to continue to tighten relations with the Pacific nation.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that the two leaders’ meeting on May 1 is expected to focus on deepening economic cooperation, climate change, human rights, efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region and more.

The visit comes after the Philippines announced earlier this year that it would allow U.S. forces to broaden their footprint in the Southeast Asian nation. It was one of a series of moves by the administration aimed strengthening an arc of military alliances in the Indo-Pacific to better counter China, including in any future confrontation over Taiwan.

Biden and Marcos had their first face-to-face meeting in September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

Marcos, the son and namesake of the country’s former dictator, took office last June.

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