BrahMos Only Beginning: Junior Foreign Minister Of The Philippines On Indian Defence Cooperation

According to Antonio Morales, undersecretary in the foreign ministry (the Indian term is deputy minister), the Philippines’ purchase of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles from India is only the start of a collaboration.

According to undersecretary Morales, the $375 million contract will aid in the modernization of the Philippine military and has the support of the country’s military, government, and people. He said that India’s modernization efforts might go on, urging “more and more negotiations” and “additional deals to improve the modernization process.”

Admiral R. Hari Kumar, the head of the Indian navy, is set to visit Manila very soon, which is another indication of the two nations’ increasing friendship. Morales discussed the necessity of regional peace and security as well as maritime cooperation. He said there was potential for the security ties between the two nations.

According to Morales, China is the main cause of many of the “challenges” the Philippines confront. In the South China Sea, China has created artificial islands and added airstrips to them. The legal status of the area and the Philippines’ sovereign rights over its EEZ are unaffected by this. His wish was for China to halt militarization of the islands.

Morales described China as a major power and predicted that sooner than previously thought, its economy would surpass that of the United States. Manila’s top trading partner is Beijing. China has a significant financial interest in the Philippines’ economy, especially its electrical system. In reality, Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos, the upcoming president, has mentioned an unique relationship with China.

The interaction with Beijing presented further difficulties. There are some places where we differ, he acknowledged, and he hoped that these differences wouldn’t prevent us from building a deeper bond. “When we disagree, we do so respectfully and firmly.” China has refused to recognise the decision of the international arbitration that the Philippines requested and won. He believed that China would gain from recognising the rule of law and hoped that it would triumph. He continued, “I hope China would change its stance on the South China Sea.

He spoke on behalf of the Philippines at the India-ASEAN conference in Delhi because his nation does not yet have a foreign minister. He discussed new areas of cooperation, such as connectivity and digitalization, as well as maintaining peace and security in the Indo-Pacific, gaining access to conventional sea routes, upholding the rule of law, and accepting international court rulings. He respected India’s stance on the subject.

Morales praised the Quad’s decision to reinforce ASEAN’s prominent role in the region as well as its equitable vaccination distribution plan. The Quad is comprised of India, Australia, Japan, and the United States. The best strategy for combating pandemics was multilateral cooperation, he continued.

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