Amid mounting concern over China’s increasing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea and tension over self-ruled Taiwan, the US military managed to secure access to four additional bases in the Philippines. The United States already had access to five military bases in the Philippines.
The US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Philippines’ Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez said in a joint news conference at the Philippine military headquarters in Manila that the United States would be given access to four more bases under the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
“Our alliance makes our democracies more secure and helps uphold a free-and-open Indo-Pacific,” said Lloyd Austin.
The development is significant as it comes at a point of increased assertiveness by Beijing in the South China Sea and increased confrontation with the United States.
The decision has not gone well with China, which opposes the US militarization of the region. Beijing issued a stern warning to the Philippines, saying that the country was at risk of being “taken advantage of” by the US, saying the US was responsible for escalating tensions.
HIDAYAT TV Official