United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman meets with President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday and discussed how to strengthen the alliance between the Philippines and the US. In a tweet, Sherman said economy, human rights, and a free Indo-Pacific region were among the topics discussed during their meeting. “I was pleased to meet and congratulate President-elect Marcos. We discussed strengthening our longstanding alliance, expanding people-to-people ties, deepening our economic relationship, advancing human rights, and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Sherman said. (MNS photo)

MANILA, June 9 (Mabuhay) — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday discussed bilateral ties and the preservation of “a free and open Indo-Pacific” during a meeting with United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, she said.

Sherman, who is visiting the Philippines and several Asian countries this month, said she “was pleased to meet and congratulate President-elect Marcos.”

“We discussed strengthening our longstanding alliance, expanding people-to-people ties, deepening our economic relationship, advancing human rights, and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific,” she said in a tweet.

Sherman, described as the United States’ second-highest diplomat, is also scheduled to visit South Korea, Laos, and Vietnam.

“The Deputy Secretary’s travel to the region reflects the United States’ continued commitment to the Indo-Pacific,” the US State Department said in an earlier statement.

It noted that Sherman’s trip followed the US-ASEAN Special Summit in May, US President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea and Japan, the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo, and the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.

Leaders of Japan, Australia, the United States and India—members of the so-called Quad alliance—said late last month they oppose all attempts to “change the status quo by force, particularly in the Indo-Pacific”.

The statement comes with international pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, and growing concern about whether Beijing could try to forcibly seize self-ruled Taiwan.

Last month, Biden congratulated Marcos Jr. for winning the presidential elections.

Marcos earlier invited Biden to attend his inauguration on June 30. US officials have yet to say if Biden accepted the invitation. (MNS)

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