Philippines to Expand US Army’s Access to Four of its Army Bases in a Bid to Deter China

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Last Updated: February 02, 2023, 06:51 IST

US President Joe Biden takes part in a bilateral meeting with Philippines President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. in New York, New York, US (Image: Reuters)

US President Joe Biden takes half in a bilateral assembly with Philippines President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. in New York, New York, US (Image: Reuters)

Relations between Washington and Manila deteriorated in the latest years however China’s actions in the South China Sea has introduced the previous allies nearer to one another as soon as extra

The United States and the Philippines are anticipated to announce a deal Thursday that can give US troops entry to one other 4 navy bases in the Southeast Asian nation, because the longtime allies search to deter Chinese aggression in the area.

The settlement to develop cooperation will probably be introduced throughout a go to by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a senior Philippine official instructed AFP, and comes because the international locations search to restore ties that have been fractured in latest years.

China’s rising assertiveness on Taiwan and its claims over the disputed South China Sea have given recent impetus to Washington and Manila to strengthen their partnership.

Given its proximity to Taiwan and its surrounding waters, the Philippines’ cooperation could be key in the occasion of a battle with China, which a four-star US Air Force common has warned may occur as early as 2025.

“There’s been an settlement to designate 4 new further websites,” the Philippine official instructed AFP on the situation of anonymity.

Talks were ongoing for a potential fifth base, the official added.

The two countries have a decades-old security alliance that includes a mutual defence treaty and a 2014 pact, known by the acronym EDCA, which allows US troops to rotate through five Philippine bases, including those near disputed waters.

It also allows for the US military to store defence equipment and supplies on those bases.

EDCA stalled under ex-president Rodrigo Duterte, who favoured China over his country’s former colonial master, but the new administration of President Ferdinand Marcos has been keen to accelerate its implementation.

Under the EDCA expansion to be unveiled Thursday, the United States will have access to at least nine military bases across the archipelago.

It has been widely reported that most of the new bases will be on the main island of Luzon, the closest Philippine landmass to Taiwan, where the US already has access to two sites.

The fourth will reportedly be on the western island of Palawan, facing the Spratly Islands in the hotly contested South China Sea, taking the number of sites there to two.

Ahead of the announcement, Austin was to hold talks with Marcos at the presidential palace.

A senior US defence official told reporters Wednesday that the Philippines was under “day-to-day pressure from (China) in ways that contravene international law”.

The United States goals to guarantee “they’ve the aptitude to defend their very own sovereignty,” the official said.

Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has ignored a ruling at the Hague that its claims have no legal basis.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have overlapping claims to parts of the sea.

China also claims self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as part of its territory to be reclaimed one day, by force if necessary.

“Looking at the location of the proposed sites, it seems pretty clear that these sites are in relation to a Taiwan contingency,” stated Greg Wyatt of PSA Philippines Consultancy.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)

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