Philippines, US hold talks on troop build-up

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Philippine and U.S. marines walk on a shallow part of a bay during an amphibious raid as part of a Philippine-U.S. joint military exercises in Ulugan bay, western coast of PhilippinesOn August 14, the Philippines and the US conducted high level talks on a proposal to increase the US military’s rotational presence in the country. The US has maintained a limited force in the country since departing en masse in the mid-1990’s, but recent events in the region have now compelled the Philippines to invite the Americans back.

These events all stem from Chinese territorial expansion, which is not limited to encroachments on Philippine sovereign territory. In recent years, and with ever greater frequency, China has forcefully intruded on Vietnamese, Japanese, and Philippine ocean territory, and has even published a map claiming for China a much larger portion of the South China Sea than has ever been internationally recognized.

These developments have prompted the Philippines to increase purchases of heavy military equipment, to formally ally with Japan against China, and now to seek a large American military presence on its shores. This bold move is meeting with a growing protest movement extending from the citizenry to the Senate.

A number of Philippine Senators are challenging the constitutionality of this unilateral invitation to the American military by the Philippine executive branch. These Senators point to Article XVIII, Section 25, of the Philippine Constitution, which states that “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.”

Filipino students and other protesters on Wednesday picketed outside the US embassy in Manila and at Camp Aguinaldo, the Philippines’ military headquarters. According to The Philippine Star newspaper, protesters voiced concerns that the Philippines would be reduced to “a giant weapons depot for US forces,” and that the country would be “used as a staging ground for US intervention such as drone strikes in other parts of the world.”

The Philippine government has defended its actions saying that a larger rotational American military presence would give the Philippines time to build up its own military capacity in relative security from Chinese aggression.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

On August 14, the Philippines and the US conducted high level talks on a proposal to increase the US military’s rotational presence in the country. The US has maintained a limited force in the country since departing en masse in the mid-1990’s, but recent events in the region have now compelled the Philippines to invite the Americans back.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine and U.S. marines walk on a shallow part of a bay during an amphibious raid as part of a Philippine-U.S. joint military exercises in Ulugan bay, western coast of PhilippinesOn August 14, the Philippines and the US conducted high level talks on a proposal to increase the US military’s rotational presence in the country. The US has maintained a limited force in the country since departing en masse in the mid-1990’s, but recent events in the region have now compelled the Philippines to invite the Americans back.

These events all stem from Chinese territorial expansion, which is not limited to encroachments on Philippine sovereign territory. In recent years, and with ever greater frequency, China has forcefully intruded on Vietnamese, Japanese, and Philippine ocean territory, and has even published a map claiming for China a much larger portion of the South China Sea than has ever been internationally recognized.

These developments have prompted the Philippines to increase purchases of heavy military equipment, to formally ally with Japan against China, and now to seek a large American military presence on its shores. This bold move is meeting with a growing protest movement extending from the citizenry to the Senate.

A number of Philippine Senators are challenging the constitutionality of this unilateral invitation to the American military by the Philippine executive branch. These Senators point to Article XVIII, Section 25, of the Philippine Constitution, which states that “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.”

Filipino students and other protesters on Wednesday picketed outside the US embassy in Manila and at Camp Aguinaldo, the Philippines’ military headquarters. According to The Philippine Star newspaper, protesters voiced concerns that the Philippines would be reduced to “a giant weapons depot for US forces,” and that the country would be “used as a staging ground for US intervention such as drone strikes in other parts of the world.”

The Philippine government has defended its actions saying that a larger rotational American military presence would give the Philippines time to build up its own military capacity in relative security from Chinese aggression.

Do you like this post?
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