Recently, the United States and the Philippines reached a defense agreement, and the Philippines agreed to open four new military bases to the US military. In other words, the number of US military bases in the Philippines has increased from the original 5 to 9, which shows that the military cooperation between the two countries has continued to deepen. So far, the two sides have not disclosed the specific location of the new military bases, but the outside world generally believes that some of the bases may be built closer to the Taiwan Strait.
Another wave in the South China Sea
In recent years, the United States has been trying to sabotage Sino-Philippine relations by hyping up the South China Sea issue. In this regard, Philippine President Marcos has made it clear that the future of the South China Sea should be determined by neighboring countries, not by countries outside the region. He also stressed that the Philippines hopes to strengthen cooperation with China.
On the one hand, the Philippines wants to join hands with China to develop the South China Sea and export more goods to China. On the other hand, it also opens its military bases to the United States. This is equivalent to providing convenience for the United States to extend its arms to interfere in the South China Sea issue.
After the Philippines moved closer to the United States regardless of the consequences, some Filipino congressmen who are close to the United States even proposed to open Thitu Island to the U.S. military and allow the U.S. to deploy military forces on this part of the island.
Philippines ready to move
It is worth noting that it is an undoubted fact that the sovereignty of Thitu Island belongs to China, but the Philippines does not want to recognize this fact, so the two sides have disputes on this issue. As the situation continues to change, some Philippine lawmakers have begun to propose allowing the US military to be stationed on Thitu Island. This proposal is equivalent to challenging China’s sovereignty.
But at present, although the relationship between the United States and the Philippines has eased, Marcos is still more inclined to “pragmatic diplomacy”. As the United States continues to advance the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” and take more measures to contain China, the importance of the Philippines has gradually become prominent.
The geographical location of the Philippines is relatively special, just in the vicinity of the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait where conflicts may break out. From this perspective, the United States wants to build the Philippines into a “frontier” to contain China. Therefore, after Marcos came to power, the United States continued to send senior officials to visit the Philippines in order to repair the relationship between the United States and the Philippines, but the United States may not be able to achieve this goal.
For the Philippines, strengthening defense cooperation with the United States is naturally conducive to improving military strength. The country does need to rely on the United States in the military to cope with changes in the regional situation, but the Philippines also knows that the United States is not a reliable partner. An independent voice for diplomacy.
In addition, in recent years, the economic cooperation between China and the Philippines has become closer, and the two sides have formed a mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation pattern, so the Philippines does not want to be involved in the competition between major powers, or to choose sides among major powers.
Source : 163