U.S. Access to Philippine Military Bases Infuriates China
The Philippine government on April 3 identified four new military bases that the United States will have access to, despite strong opposition from China. The new sites include a Philippine naval base and an international airport in the northern Cagayan province, both of which are close to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that China claims as its own.
The other two military bases are in the northern Isabela province and in the western province of Palawan. Palawan is near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, where China has built artificial islands equipped with missile systems in efforts to control the vital sea passage and the vast amount of global trade that cruises through its waters.
In February, Manila agreed to the expansion of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (edca), allowing the U.S. access to these four military bases in addition to the five previously agreed upon. America’s ambassador to the Philippines, MaryKay Carlson, said the expanded access was only meant to allow U.S. forces to help with humanitarian needs in the region. However, China sees it as a threat on China’s efforts to control the region.
Whereas the U.S. claims that such cooperation is intended to help the disaster relief efforts of the Philippines and some Americans even tout the edca sites as driver of local economy, it is plain and simple that those moves are part of the U.S. efforts to encircle and contain China through its military alliance with this country.
The Chinese Embassy strongly warned the Philippines against cooperation with the U.S., saying the deal “will drag the Philippines into the abyss of geopolitical strife and damage its economic development at the end of the day.”
Tensions continue to rise: China’s opposition to U.S. military presence in the Philippines is unsurprising; tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea have persisted for decades and have risen to a fever pitch under Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping. We should expect China to keep applying pressure to Asiatic nations and for U.S. efforts not to last long.
In his article “China Is Steering the World Toward War,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. It is forcing these countries to do what it wants. Everything is headed in the direction of war.”