America has rushed to mend relations with its former colony after ties frayed under former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. It has lavished attention on new leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr and sent military equipment and vaccines. Washington needs Manila in its camp as tensions with China rise in the Indo-Pacific. Reuters got inside the charm offensive.

Shortly after winning the presidency of the Philippines in May of last year, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr took his first congratulatory call from a foreign head of state.

U.S. President Joe Biden was on the line.

Biden’s speed in wishing the new president well delighted Marcos, according to brother-in-law Gregorio Maria Araneta III, who said the Philippine leader proudly told his family about that call a few days later over lunch. It “put a smile on his face,” Araneta, one of the country’s most prominent tycoons, told Reuters in a rare interview, speaking from his wood-paneled office in Manila.

  • rhythmisaprancer@kbin.social
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    8 months ago

    I guess that is what I found curious - he and family exiled in the USA. Surely that meant relations couldn’t have been that bad, no?

    Adding edit since I think I am failing to say what I want to say- it seems to me that relations were good, even after 1.0’s removal from power, and the family just had a grudge. Connections seemed to have been maintained at least for the rest of 1.0’s life. Is this true? Does it matter? Did this connection lish Jr towards the US instead of China?

    • MicroWave@lemmy.worldOP
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      8 months ago

      The Philippines generally has a positive view of the US. But from 2016 to 2022, the relationship deteriorated because the Filipino president at the time (Rodrigo Duterte) tried courting China, but it didn’t pan out. A quote from the article:

      Manila-based political analyst Julio Amador III described the U.S. outreach as “unprecedented love-bombing” aimed at resetting the U.S.-Philippines relationship. Marcos’ predecessor, the populist firebrand Rodrigo Duterte, was openly hostile to the United States and attempted to bring his country closer to communist China during his six-year term.