• Marcos is meeting President Biden following China's disapproving remarks against the added EDCA sites
  • Marcos and Biden will also discuss ways on navigating climate change
  • This is Marcos' second visit to the U.S. since assuming office in 2002

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he will discuss military cooperation agreements with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, in their bilateral meeting at the White House next month.

The two leaders are set to meet on May 1 amid rising tensions between China and Taiwan and the impending conclusion of the largest ever joint military drills between U.S. and Filipino troops on April 28.

"We will also look into the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) and the MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty) with the US because we have to evolve it. We have to adjust because there are changes in the situation we are facing in the South China Sea, in the midst of what is happening in Taiwan and North Korea," Marcos said, the Inquirer reported.

The president stressed the need to discuss military partnership with Biden, following China's sharp remarks after the Philippines added four new additional sites for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Earlier, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, also cautioned the Philippines against siding with Taiwan "rather than stoking the fire by offering the U.S. access to the military bases near the Taiwan Strait if you care genuinely about the 150,000 OFWs (Overseas Filipino Worker)."

Huang's words were met with criticism by Filipino lawmakers, who interpreted it as an implied threat; however, the Chinese embassy said Huang was misquoted in his speech.

Aside from this, China had also accused the U.S. of maintaining a "zero-sum mentality" and endangering regional peace and stability through the deployment of additional troops in the region.

Marcos said topics on military cooperation and partnership with the U.S. are imperative in order to "lessen the rhetoric."

"Right now, the situation is heating up. Nations have been releasing strong statements. Of course, we are concerned about that and the US has always been our partner," the president said, the PhilStar reported.

Marcos and Biden will also discuss ways on navigating climate change.

"We will clarify our treaty agreements with the US. We will also look at climate change since there are many changes in the situation. We will ask for help in what we can do or what strategies we can undertake," he said.

This is Marcos' second official visit to the U.S. since he assumed office in 2022.

US President Joe Biden (R) meets with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York City on September 22, 2022