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Philippines' Marcos taps former military chief as defense minister

Balancing relations with Washington and Beijing to challenge new head Faustino

Philippine's former military chief Jose Faustino has been appointed by President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the next defense minister. (Photo from Philippine Army Facebook page)

MANILA (Reuters) -- Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed former military chief Jose Faustino as the Southeast Asian country's next defense minister in his cabinet, his press secretary said on Friday.

When he takes up the post later this month, Faustino will have to balance the Philippines' relations with Washington, a treaty ally, and Beijing, which continues its assertive stance in claiming almost all of the South China Sea.

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