Biden, Xi congratulate Marcos Jr on Philippine presidential win

The leaders of the United States and China have welcomed Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s presidential win in the Philippines, after the son of the country’s former dictator declared victory and pledged to be a leader “for all Filipinos”.

US President Joe Biden congratulated Marcos Jr in a phone call, the White House said in a statement on Thursday, underscoring that he looks forward to working with the president-elect to continue strengthening ties with the Philippines, a longstanding treaty ally of Washington.

Biden said he wants to “expand bilateral cooperation” on a wide range of issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, economic growth and respect for human rights.

China’s President Xi Jinping also spoke with Marcos Jr on Wednesday, according to Chinese state television, with the Chinese leader stressed that the two countries had been “partners through thick and thin”.

“I attach great importance to the development of China-Philippines relations and am willing to establish a good working relationship with President-elect Marcos, adhere to good neighbourliness and friendship,” Xi said.

The Philippines sits on the front lines of US-China tensions, while some analysts saying Marcos Jr’s win spells a potential blow to efforts by the US to push back against China, its main strategic rival in the Pacific.

With an initial count almost complete, the incoming leader, popularly known as “Bongbong”, has more than 56 percent of the vote with at least twice the number of votes as his nearest rival, liberal Leni Robredo.

The emphatic victory has also raised concern over a further erosion of democracy in the Philippines.

With an initial count almost complete, the incoming leader, popularly known as “Bongbong”, has more than 56 percent of the vote with at least twice the number of votes as his nearest rival, liberal Leni Robredo.

The emphatic victory has also raised concern over a further erosion of democracy in the Philippines.

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