The presidents of US and China have extended their congratulations to Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the presumptive next president of the Philippines.

In a press release, the White House said US President Joe Biden had spoken with Marcos”to congratulate him on his election” and underscore that he “looks forward to working with [Marcos] to continue strengthening the US-Philippines alliance.”

Biden also wants the two countries to expand bilateral cooperation on “a wide range of issues,” including fighting Covid-19, addressing the climate crisis, and promoting economic growth and respect for human rights.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said he was “delighted” upon hearing Marcos’ election win, as he told Marcos he was ready to “build a good working relationship” with him.

“Currently, China and the Philippines are both at a critical stage of development, posing important opportunities and broad prospects for our bilateral relations,” Xi said.

“I am ready to build a good working relationship with you to preserve our good neighborliness, work for common development and deepen our relationship of comprehensive strategic cooperation so as to bring benefits to our two countries and two peoples,” he added.

Marcos, the son of the late Philippine dictator, is poised to win the Philippine presidency 36 years after his father was ousted.

He received more than 31.1 million votes, more than doubling second placer Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s 14.8 million. John Ezekiel J. Hirro