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Philippines faces ‘worrisome’ threat amid Taiwan tensions, Marcos tells troops

The Southeast Asian nation should prepare for a “more pronounced” external threat, the president was also quoted as saying in a statement released by his communications office on Tuesday.

“The external threat now has become more pronounced, has become more worrisome, and that is why we have to prepare,” Marcos said, without specifying.

The Philippines was not trying to redraw lines of sovereign territory including its exclusive economic zone, and the country was committed to defend itself while engaging in diplomacy, he said.

China’s embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Manila said on Saturday that it will continue to maintain and supply its South China Sea outposts without seeking permission from any other nation, dismissing Beijing’s demand to do so as “absurd, nonsense and unacceptable”.

The Philippines has a long-standing territorial dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea, a conduit for more than US$3 trillion in annual ship commerce.

Additional reporting by Reuters