U.S. Increasing Military Presence in the Philippines
Image Credit: U.S. State Department

U.S. Increasing Military Presence in the Philippines

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In a move that prompted a swift and angry response from China, the U.S. has reportedly agreed to substantially increase its military presence in the Philippines, increasing the number of troops, aircraft and ships which routinely rotate through the country.

Details surrounding the scale of the increase were not made public but Pio Lorenzo Batino, the Philippines deputy defense minister said policy consultations were also held on a framework that would allow Washington to bolster military equipment in-country as well. He warned that, "There has been no discussion yet on specifics [of in-country military equipment] … (these are) policy consultations and the specifics would be determined by the technical working groups,"

Batino went on to say they expected to sign a five-year joint U.S.-Philippine military exercise plan during their meetings recently.

The announcement came during the 3rd Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Manila last week. The 2nd bilateral dialogue was held in January of this year, and “Two-Plus-Two” Ministerial Consultations between their foreign and defense secretaries took place in April in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. side of the strategic dialogue was headed by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell who told reporters afterwards that the long-standing U.S.-Philippines relationship was enjoying a “renaissance” as part of the larger U.S. pivot to Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, tensions over conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea continues to dominate relations between China and members of the Associations of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Philippines, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have overlapping claims to the Spratly islands located in the far southeast of the South China Sea, also known as the West Philippine Sea and East Sea in Vietnam, which also claims the Paracel Islands off its northeast coast.

China claims sovereignty over much of the region including the resource rich islands and sea lanes of communications through which almost half the world's international trade passes.

Increased U.S. support would also serve The Philippines when struggling against natural disasters, which occur quite frequently. Typhoon Bopha was the most recent, claiming more than 900 lives as it swept across the southern Philippines last week.

Both Manila and Washington seemed to emphasis the humanitarian nature of the increased U.S. presence in the country, likely in an effort to assuage China’s inevitable concerns.

If this was the hope it was not to be realized as Beijing immediately focused on the strategic implications and the potential conflict, rather than the natural disaster relief operations. State-run media in Beijing denounced the agreement and used language that was unusually evocative, reflecting China’s growing frustration with the Philippines.

The China Daily referred to the Philippines as a troublemaker seeking a confrontation with China, and accused it of opportunism and trickery. It also described Philippines Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario’s public support of Japan building up its military forces as pathetic.

Comments
32
Horso
January 7, 2013 at 03:08

Zanaibar, are you really serious. No one on the face of this planet compares to Mao for the systematic murder of his own people. Hitler and Joe Stalin didn't even come close, although I must admit they tried.
China's claim on the South China Sea is no more than a land grab and it cannot be allowed to happen. What next they will be claiming the whole Pacific Ocean and annexing all of South East Asia.
The Philippines has the right to defend it EEZ and China has no right to claim the South China Sea and impede on freedom of navigation.
The US has made mistakes, Iraq was a big one and as far as Afganistan goes, September 11 was an act of war. George Bush should have just nuked them it would have saved a lot of US and allied lives.
I am an Australian and my countrymen and I will stand at the back of the US anytime.
 

Sonny
December 25, 2013 at 11:13

I certainly agree.China systematic grubing occupying of country like Tibet,Uighur their constant friction w/ India and even their own allies Russia what more of our West Philippine sea.It would be better if all the world put their factories business and technologies to their Asian allies instead of China that made China economically rich that are now so arrogant even expanding their ownership tru business abroad…or simply ban china’s product.

Dan
January 2, 2013 at 05:19

@John

Pretty sure western policy is “What’s ours is ours. What’s yours, we’ve already had.”

a_canadian_observer
December 22, 2012 at 02:16

I read somewhere that Sun Tzu was not chinese, but was actually Korean….

a_canadian_observer
December 22, 2012 at 02:12

Or Imperialism with chinese characteristic :).

Be Way
December 21, 2012 at 23:03

@phil,
The last time China was unified as a single nation is already more than 2,000 years ago.   The last time both Tibet and Xinjiang were subjugated under the Mongol Dynasty rule was around 800 years ago.   The last time Vietnam was ruled by Chinese Ming Dynasty was around 600 years ago.  Since then, when and what has China ever invaded another sovereign nations. 
However let us be honest that the West chiefly America, has never learn how to be civilized.   The Europeans triggered and fought amongst themselves in both World Wars less than a century ago.   What more the brutal occupation of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan by Nato until now.  On top they are eyeing more wars with Syria, Iran and even China now.  Don't forget too the sins of pillaging, slavery and plundering of many countries around the globe as a result of colonization by Western Imperialist.  
The West is a brutal vicious warmongering devil in disguise.   Full stop.

chong lee
December 7, 2013 at 18:07

China invaded Vietnam and india. Its recent enough that India and Vietnam is building a military to counter.

What the heck do you think China is doing in spratly and the Japanese island. When you claim other people land as your and send the military its invading.

Chinese military rise is NOT peaceful. Chinese have an axe to grind and they will. Next world war will start because the Chinese decided it can take on the japenese.

Start thinking no communist government is EVER peaceful.

Sonny
December 25, 2013 at 11:23

China Tiananmen Square many were killed it could be thousand Chinese people by their own government like what Mao Se Dung did too.If it is easy for communist officials to kill their own people it will be certain that it will be more easier for them to do such thing for other races to grab occupy their country territories…

Cyrus
December 21, 2012 at 07:35

Oh, and it was the despotic Peoples Republic of China that the US helped and gave the UN seat originally from the Republic of China.

Filipino Defenser
December 21, 2012 at 00:29

sorry the china threat is very real and we must do all that we can to stop china's ambitions its illusions of granduer of ruling the minds and bodies of the world

phil
December 20, 2012 at 11:57

should read "without" invading any countries

phil
December 20, 2012 at 11:56

Yeah right you are not chinese heh? LOL 5000 years with invading any countries haha. Please educate history  yourself from a neutral  and trusted sources. Stay away from any books that are published by  CCP because they are all lies.

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