U.S. and Philippines to Hold “2-Plus-2” Meetings

The United States and the Philippines will begin holding what’s referred to as “2-plus-2” meetings in March hosted in Manila following a 7-year hiatus.

Philippian ambassador to the United States claimed these are “a work in progress” and there is a clear “intention” to start hosting meetings on a phone call this past Saturday.

These annual meetings are likely in response to growing Chinese activity in the South China Sea. The United States and its allies intend to counter China’s aggressive desire to expand in the region.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will attend, meeting their Philippine counterparts, Enrique Manalo and Gilbert Teodoro. As of now, neither office has made additional comments on the meetings.