US and Philippines sign new military deal ahead of potential Chinese aggression

A military deal has been signed between the United States and the Philippines to allow US troops access to four more bases in the South-East Asian country.

This is to rejuvenate the alliance between both countries in the wake of China’s recent military uprising.

The military agreement was announced during a visit by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, whose purpose was to expand cooperation in “strategic areas of the country.”

China has recently claimed sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, ignoring a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague that its claims are illegal.

China also asserts that Taiwan is part of its territory and has vowed to eventually reclaim the independent country, even if it means through a military offensive.

China’s increasing military determination on Taiwan and its building of bases in the disputed South China Sea have necessitated this immediate strengthening of ties between the US and the Philippines.

Due to its proximity to Taiwan and its surrounding waters, the Philippine military agreement with the United States is seen as necessary in an offensive from China, a situation that a high-ranking US military official has predicted could happen as early as 2025.

The US and the Philippines have a long-term security alliance, including a mutual defense treaty and the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) pact, which allows US troops to rotate through five Philippine bases, including those near disputed waters.

The EDCA pact also allows the US military to store defense equipment and supplies on those bases.

Under its expansion, the United States will now have access to at least nine military bases across the South-East Asian archipelago.

Approximately 500 US military personnel are currently in the Philippines, with others rotating through the country for joint military exercises to be conducted during the year.

“The Philippines and the United States are proud to announce their plans to accelerate the full implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the agreement to designate four new Agreed Locations in strategic areas of the country,” defense officials from both countries said in a joint statement.

“The EDCA is a key pillar of the US-Philippines alliance, which supports combined training, exercises, and interoperability between our forces,” the statement continued.

“Expanding the EDCA will strengthen our alliance, make it more resilient, and accelerate the modernization of our combined military capabilities.”

The location of the four new bases that the Philippines will grant military access to the US has been kept unidentified.

The US has repeatedly called on the Chinese government to abide by its obligations under international law and cease its “provocative behavior” in the South China Sea.

China, on the other hand, remains obstinate in its military and territorial determinations, claiming the US and other countries are increasing tensions in the South East Asian region by carrying out recurrent military operations there in violation of Chinese sovereignty.

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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