Canada's commitment to bolstering maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region and its support for the Philippines' sovereign rights in the South China Sea are key highlights of a recent visit by Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly to the Philippines. In this article, we delve into Canada's efforts to enhance its presence in the Indo-Pacific, its collaboration with the Philippines, and the significance of their bilateral ties.

Canada's Support for Philippine Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific: Strengthening Bilateral Ties.

Canada's Pledge to Defend Sovereign Rights

During her visit, Foreign Minister Joly expressed Canada's support for the 2016 arbitration ruling that upheld Philippine sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone, while invalidating China's expansive territorial claims in the disputed waters. Joly emphasized the importance of respecting international norms, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). She underscored that the arbitration decision is final and binding, urging all parties, including China, to respect it. This stance demonstrates Canada's commitment to upholding international law and promoting stability in the region.

Canada's Indo-Pacific Strategy

With the launch of its Indo-Pacific strategy in November, Canada aims to strengthen its presence and engagement in the region. Recognizing its status as a Pacific nation, Canada seeks to assert itself and play a larger role in promoting peace and stability. As part of this strategy, Canada is deploying frigates to the Indo-Pacific, including the South China Sea, to support regional peace and freedom of navigation. The increased deployment of frigates demonstrates Canada's dedication to upholding the principles of maritime security in the region.

Supporting the Philippines' Maritime Security

Canada, with its extensive coastline and expertise in maritime issues, is well-positioned to provide support to countries in the Indo-Pacific, including the Philippines. As part of its commitment to enhancing Philippine maritime security, Canada is offering assistance through satellite surveillance and scientific data. Through programs like the "Dark Vessel Program," Canada utilizes satellite technology to locate and track ships engaged in illegal fishing, even if they attempt to evade monitoring and surveillance by disabling location-transmitting devices. This support enables the Philippines to better monitor its coastal waters, combat illegal fishing activities, and gain scientific data to strengthen its territorial claims.

Strengthening Bilateral Ties

Canada and the Philippines share a longstanding diplomatic relationship, which will mark its 75th year in the coming year. Foreign Minister Joly's visit aimed to expand bilateral ties between the two countries. Discussions were held with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo, National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano, and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla. Both Canada and the Philippines emphasize the promotion of the rule of law in the South China Sea, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and the preservation of marine ecosystems, in accordance with international conventions such as UNCLOS. The vibrant people-to-people ties and the substantial Filipino diaspora in Canada further strengthen the bilateral relationship.


Canada's commitment to enhancing maritime security in the Indo-Pacific and its support for the Philippines' sovereign rights in the South China Sea demonstrate its dedication to upholding international norms and promoting stability in the region. Through satellite surveillance, scientific data sharing, and the deployment of frigates, Canada aims to assist the Philippines in addressing challenges such as illegal fishing and territorial monitoring. The visit of Foreign Minister Melanie Joly highlights the mutual desire to strengthen bilateral ties between Canada and the Philippines, based on shared values and regional security concerns.



Post a Comment