Philippine President Delivers Keynote Speech at Shangri-La Dialogue

On May 31st, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivered a speech in which he said that the country will not yield to China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea (SCS) at the 21st iteration of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Marcos also said that the Philippines will “find the strength to do whatever it takes to protect our sovereign home—to the last square inch, to the last square millimeter.”

He also highlighted the differences between China’s and the Philippines’ claims to the SCS, citing how the country’s maritime boundaries are legal under the 2016 UNCLOS Arbitral Award whereas China’s is based on historical narratives.

The Philippines will use the Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept to develop the necessary capabilities “to project our forces into areas where we must, by constitutional duty and by legal right, protect our interests and preserve our patrimony.”

The Shangri-La Dialogue is an annual defense forum organized and held by the Institute for Strategic Studies’ every year in Singapore, occurring from May 31st to June 2nd.