U.S. and Philippines Reaffirm and Strengthen Multi-Faceted Alliance into the 21st century
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the US-PH bilateral diplomatic relationship. The longstanding partnership dates back to 1946 and has played a central role in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Both countries recently reaffirmed this historic and strategic partnership highlighting the U.S. commitment to its key ally under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and subsequently the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed in April 2014. High level meetings followed the Jan 12 decision of the Philippine Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of EDCA. The second US-PH Two Plus Two Ministerial Consultative Dialogue attended by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Philippine counterparts, Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, examined 21st century opportunities based on shared values and common interests
The US “rebalance” to Asia aims to promote a stable, transparent, and rules-based order that encourages cooperation in the region. At the US-ASEAN Summit in the Sunnylands, California, 16 February, President Obama, along with President Aquino and the ASEAN leaders and with strong bipartisan support, reiterated four policy priorities: mutual security and peaceful resolution of disputes, inclusive economic growth, human dignity, and sustainable development
On March 17-18, the sixth Bilateral Strategic Dialogue was held to exchange views on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues including Partnership for Growth initiatives, foreign military funding, trade and investment, education and research, collaboration in science and technology, climate change, humanitarian assistance, cooperative activities to support the rule of law and peaceful resolution of territorial and maritime disputes.
Against this landscape and the upcoming Philippine elections in May, the US-Philippines Society presented a series of programs underscoring the strength of bilateral ties, people to people linkages, private enterprise and civil society in promoting political stability and sustained economic growth.