Philippines announce new locations for US military bases near Taiwan

The Philippines wants to set up four more US military bases on their territory. China opposes such a strengthening of military cooperation between Manila and Washington in the region, which it sees as a threat to its own security.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. confirmed on Wednesday that four sites scattered across the island nation would serve as additional US military posts. The bases are to be created as part of the so-called Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), writes the Manila Times. Regarding the announced locations for the US Army, the paper quotes the head of state as saying:

“There are some to the north, others around Palawan, and some further south as well.”

According to Marcos Jr., the goal of this decision is to protect the east coast of the island nation and the eastern side of the continental shelf of Luzon Island. The shelf of the largest Philippine island is only 200 kilometers away from the island of Taiwan.

Pacific confrontation: US expands military encirclement of China


Pacific confrontation: US expands military encirclement of China

The Philippine leader’s statement comes after the US announced in February that it could use these sites as part of the full implementation of the agreement. Thus, these new bases would complement the five already existing. The agreement was signed in 2014.

At the same time, Manila’s decision is fueling tensions with Beijing after the Chinese government asked the island state not to further strengthen its military cooperation with the United States. Failure to do so would be detrimental to regional security and would further Washington’s geopolitical interests in the Indo-Pacific.

Earlier, media said the Philippines played a key role in US plans to deter China and respond to an eventual Chinese attack on Taiwan, as the island nation is among US allies in the Indo-Pacific, including Australia, South Korea, Japan and Thailand is closest to Taiwan. In addition, Beijing and Manila have territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

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