Philippines says US will not use its four new bases to “attack” China

Philippines says US will not use its four new bases to “attack” China

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. assured on Monday that the four new military bases that the United States will have access to in the Asian archipelago will not be used to “attack” Chinareported local media.

“If nobody attacks us, they have nothing to worry about because we are not going to attack them. The only thing we do is continue to reinforce our territory and the defenses of our territory,” Marcos said in reference to China in statements picked up by ABS-CBN television channel.

Marcos’ statements come after the concern shown by Peking over the location of one such base on the northern tip of Luzon Island, barely 400 kilometers from Taiwan, while another base on Balabac Island, near Palawan, is in the vicinity of waters and islands disputed by Beijing and Manila.

Marcos insisted that the Philippines grants the US greater access to its military bases to facilitate aid during natural disasters. that the archipelago suffers every year.

“We give our only (Defense) treaty partner, the United States, an opportunity to help us in the event of a disaster,” the president said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang.

Marcos’s explanations coincide with those given by the Pentagon, who among the “shared challenges” by the U.S. and the Philippines that will benefit from the new bases, he only expressly cited “natural and humanitarian disasters.”

The Philippines and the U.S. on Feb. 2 extended the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Compact (EDCA), under which the U.S. will be able to temporarily occupy four new military bases in the Philippines, which are in addition to the five other bases to which Washington already has access in the Asian archipelago since 2014.

The beefed-up U.S. military presence in the Philippines comes at a time of escalating tensions as China increases its expansion into the waters of the South China Sea.where it is engaged in a territorial dispute with Manila over the sovereignty of several islands, and at a time of growing concern over Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Kayleigh Williams