Asia and the Pacific. Philippines, US expand defense pact “key partner”

Agreement to expand cooperation “Strategic Areas of the Country” The decision was made during a visit by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to the Philippine capital, and it had an impact Rising tensions in the South China Sea China is pursuing an assertive policy on Taiwan and building its own military bases, AFP reports.

According to the agency, the Philippines will have a stake in a potential conflict with China main subject, Because this archipelago is 200 km off the coast of Taiwan. In the wake of such a war – as US generals warn – May happen in 2025.

Both countries signed A decades-long security alliance, These include the Mutual Defense Agreement and the 2014 EDCA agreement, which already allows the US military to rotate around five Philippine bases, including in disputed waters. Provisions also allow Americans storing their safety equipment and supplies at these sites; And as part of the expansion of the arrangements, there will be overall access to the United States to at least nine military bases Throughout the Philippine Archipelago.

“New Places However, it has not been made public But it is widely believed that most of the new sites will be built On the main island of Luzon The US already has access to two military points – the Philippine island closest to Taiwan.

Manila’s policy of trying to maintain balance between China and the US over the years, As of July 2022, things have changed dramatically since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. came to power. – Son of former dictator of this country. This is mainly influenced by the policy of the PRC, which claims waters in almost the entire South China Sea.

Beijing ignored the ruling of the international tribunal in The Hague The Chinese claims were found to be unsubstantiated in a legal contextWhen they cross the internationally established boundaries of the territorial waters of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

Thus, when Lloyd Austin visited Manila, he met Marcos at the Presidential Palace, where the Pentagon chief briefed the Philippines. A key US ally in the region. The defense secretary has insisted that the US will continue Help “build and modernize” the capacity of the Philippine military and increase operational capabilities between their forces.

On Wednesday, India announced that it would intensify cooperation with the US – primarily at the military level. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said: “Building alliances and partnerships (in the Asia-Pacific region – editorial note) highest priority for Pentagon”, Especially in an “increasingly contentious strategic environment” in Indo-China, CNN reports. Hicks also named Beijing “The Emerging Multi-Domain Threat”.

Washington for decades Strengthening its presence in the Pacific Basin, Due to the increasing military activity of the People’s Republic of China. One of the main factors in increasing tension in the region is the PRC’s activities near Taiwan. Beijing considers it an integral and indivisible part of the communist state.

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