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The US military bases Philippines is emulating China’s use of island bases

Philippine and US military honour guards march with their flags during the opening ceremony of the joint US-Philippines military exercise in Manila on May 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

The US military bases Philippines action comes in response to Beijing’s encroachment in the contested South China Sea, where Beijing has completely militarized at least three of the many islands it has constructed.

The US Military bases Philippines in Batanes (Photo: Financial Times)

The US military bases Philippines is emulating China

According to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos on Thursday, granting access to four more bases to the US military bases Philippines does not constitute a direct military challenge to China.

According to Marcos, Manila’s choice was not motivated by a desire to put US military bases Philippines installations nearer the autonomous island of Taiwan.

The Biden administration never mentioned using the new locations as “staging areas” for aggressive actions in support of Taiwan, according to Marcos. These operations would fall “outside of the parameters” of prior agreements made between the allies.

READ ALSO: China Military Power Report: Military Researchers’ Assessment Suggests That China Is Developing EMP Weapons

The US military bases Philippines and the balikatan exercises

As opposed to his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. desired tighter connections with the United States. He granted the US military bases Philippines access to four more military facilities, including those near Taiwan, and announced joint patrols in the South China Sea.

During this year’s combined military exercises, Balikatan, more than 17,000 Filipino and American soldiers trained in Batanes and the US military bases Philippines.

As part of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US military bases Philippines, Marcos Jr. has stated that the bases would be useful in the case of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, which Manila fears would have an impact on the Philippines given its proximity.

READ ALSO: Trump’s China Tariffs Won’t Likely Change, According To US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Until The Review Is Over

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