Maintain Asia-Pacific security amid US-China rivalry — Manalo

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo has called on Japan to ensure that the security architecture in the Indo-Pacific would maintain trust and confidence among parties involved as the US-China rivalry.

Speaking at a forum in Japan on Tuesday, Manalo said such regional architecture "must empower diplomacy and the rule of law to prevail over any influence engaging in coercion, intimidation, the use and threat of use of force in violation" of the United Nations Charter.

Photo courtesy of DFA Sec. Enrique Manalo

He made his appeal as he said the Philippines and Japan, along with South Korea, "share a commonality which no other nation in Asia possesses."

"Our treaty alliance with the United States, our historic and important relationship with America stands alongside our huge economic relationship with China," he said at the forum held upon the invitation of Japan’s National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).

Manalo is counting on Tokyo to work with Manila to continue engaging both China and the United States "constructively" as well as "support calls for Beijing and Washington to responsibly manage their strategic rivalry."

"Whilst every now and then, current and future challenges and transformations may make it seem that the relationship is treading on unfamiliar ground, the Philippines and Japan can always draw on the strength of our enduring values underpinning our Strategic partnership," he said.

"Thus, [it can] chart a solid course towards mutual benefit, peace, and prosperity for our peoples in the years and decades to come," he added.