US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (left) shakes hands with his Philippine counterpart Carlito Galvez Jr. after reaching an agreement on US military bases in the archipelago. 02/02/2023 Joeal Calupitan/AFP
You US closed, this Thursday the 2nd, an agreement with the Philippines Having access to four military bases in the archipelagic state and closing an arc around the island China. With the additional bases, the US military will be able to monitor the Chinese in and around the South China Sea Taiwan.
The Philippines was just the thing to fill a gap in Washington’s arc of alliance stretching from there South Korea and Japanin North Asia, too Australia, in the south. The country borders two of the region’s biggest potential hotspots: Taiwan and the South China Sea.
The deal also partially reverses the United States’ withdrawal from its former colony more than 30 years ago. In the 1980s, the Philippines was home to 15,000 US troops and two of the largest US military bases in Asia.
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While it already had limited access to five sites in the archipelago under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), Washington said in a statement that the new bases “enable faster support for humanitarian and climatic disasters in the Philippines and respond to other joint ones.” become challenges,” a thinly veiled reference to tensions with China.
The statement came after US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in Manila on Thursday.
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US officials have not said where the new bases are located, but three of them are said to be on Luzon, an island in the Philippines’ far north, the only large piece of land near Taiwan.
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