U.S. expands military presence in Philippines to counter China's aggression toward Taiwan
미, 필리핀 군사기지 4곳 사용권 추가 확보 중국 견제용
The Philippines has decided to grant the U.S. access to four more of its military bases.
This comes at a critical moment as tensions escalate between China and Taiwan.
Our Choi Min-jung has more on what it means for security in that region.
The U.S. is expanding its military presence in the Philippines, in a move to counter China's increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan.
The two countries on Thursday announced that the Phillippines will provide the U.S. with access to four more military bases in "strategic" areas of the country.
This is part of their so-called Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or "EDCA," which allows the U.S. to conduct joint training and exercises at the Philippines' military bases.
" EDCA is a cooperative agreement that enables rotational activities, and so it’s a key pillar of training and opportunities to strengthen our interoperability.”
Austin added that now is an especially important time as China continues with what he called " illegitimate claims" in the South China Sea.
The access to four more bases would allow Washington to assist Taiwan more rapidly in case of conflict.
But Austin did stress that the U.S. is not seeking a permanent presence at the sites.
Following the announcement, China warned of escalated tensions in the region and stressed that cooperation between Washington and Manila should not target any third party.
"The U.S., which clings to a zero-sum mentality, continues to strengthen its military deployment in the region out of its own interests. It is aggravating regional tensions and jeopardizing regional peace and stability."
China's Foreign Ministry also called on countries in the region to stay alert and avoid being used by the U.S.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.
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2023-02-03, 21:00 (KST)