The Philippines (in red) has embassies in various nations (in blue). Philippine foreign policy is based on the advancement of Filipino ideals and values, which include the advancement of democracy and advocacy for human rights worldwide. The nation is currently actively engaging with regional neighbors in Southeast Asia through theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (as a founding member) with the intention of strengthening regional harmony, stability, and prosperity. It has been a supporter of East Timor since the latter's independence and has expanded trade links with its traditional allies Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Relations with Vietnam and Cambodia have thawed in the 1990s after their entry into the ASEAN. Ties to the United States have affected Filipino international relations. The Republic of the Philippines considers itself a staunch ally of the United States and has supported many points of American foreign policy. This is evident in the Philippines' participation in the Iraq War and the War on Terror. Speaking to this support, U.S. President George W. Bush praised the Philippines as a bastion of democracy in the East and called the Philippines America's oldest ally in Asia. President Bush's speech on October 18, 2003 was only the second U.S. Presidential address to the Philippine Congress; U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered the first. While the Philippines' relationship with the United States remains strong, the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has sought to establish closer ties to its earlier colonizer, Spain. This was inspired by the attendance of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía at the June 12, 1998 celebration honoring the centennial of the Philippines' independence from Spain. President Macapagal-Arroyo made two official visits to Spain during her presidency. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has been a participant in various regional conflicts, including the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Recently, the Philippines sent peacekeeping forces to Iraq, in addition to civilian doctors, nurses and police. However, the Filipino mission was later recalled as collateral for the release of a Filipino hostage. As part of a UN Peacekeeping Operation, Philippine Army General Jaime de los Santos became the first commander of troops responsible for maintaining order in East Timor. The Philippines is in tension with rival international claimants to various land and water territories in the South China Sea. The Philippines is currently in dispute with the People's Republic of China over the Malampaya and Camago gas fields. The two countries are also in dispute over the Scarborough Shoal. Additionally, the Philippines has a disputed claim over the Spratly Islands. Relations with other Asian nations...