Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte chided the United States on Wednesday for halting the planned sale of 26,000 rifles to his country, calling those behind the decision “fools” and “monkeys” and indicating he might turn to Russia and China instead.
Duterte’s tirades against the former colonial power are routine during his speeches and he said on Wednesday he once believed in Washington, but had since lost respect for the Philippines’ biggest ally.
In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said he regarded Duterte’s latest salvo as “inexplicably at odds with the close relationship that we continue to have with not just the Filipino people, but the Filipino government.” Continue reading
President Obama’s travel to China for the G20 Summit appears to show the growing trend of countries pulling away from the United States to acknowledge other powers in the region that could fill in the gap, such as Russia.
The U.S.-led coalition’s end-goal continues to be that Bashar al-Assad must be forced out of of Syria. But unless the United States is willing to engage in a massive war with Russia, President Obama has decided to take the route of diplomacy in order to help target terrorists instead. Continue reading
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country’s defense chief and a confidential government report.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Sunday that as soon as relocation funds are available the government plans to transfer air force and naval forces and their fleets of aircraft and warships to Subic Bay, which has become a busy free port since the 1992 departure of the U.S. Navy.
“It’s for the protection of our West Philippine Sea,” Gazmin said from South Korea, where he was on a visit, using the name adopted by the Philippine government for the disputed South China Sea. Continue reading
The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.
The proposed bases in the Philippines, a close US ally, coincides with a resurgence of US warships, planes and personnel in the region as Washington turns its attention to a newly assertive China and shifts its foreign, economic and security policy towards Asia. Continue reading
MANILA–The Philippines has deployed a fresh batch of marines and supplies to a shoal in the disputed South China Sea, where a Chinese warship and surveillance vessels appeared last month and triggered a new standoff in the strategic waters, the Philippine defense secretary said Wednesday.
The new contingent of Filipino marines replaced troops at the Second Thomas Shoal, where the arrival last month of Chinese ships sparked diplomatic protests from the Philippines. Continue reading
China is once again working to expand its reach in the South China Sea. Its latest target is the Philippines. Recently China sailed a warship, two surveillance vessels and fishing boats into an area occupied by the Philippines’ military, causing an outcry from Philippine officials on Tuesday. While this small conglomerate of ships may pose little immediate threat, this is just the latest step in China’s expansion in the Pacific.
While this intrusion prompted Filipino President Benigno Aquino iii to announce plans to upgrade the country’s aging navy, China isn’t planning to wait around for that; it has already been busy making its presence felt in the island region. China is said to have recently been constructing military structures in the Union Bank, a group of islands that are also within the territorial boundaries of the Philippines as defined by unclos. China has also established itself on a number of other islands in the region, including Mischief Reef and Subi Reef. Continue reading
Country relations in Asia are getting to the boiling point in regards to China. What we’re seeing within the region is an arms race to protect itself against the communist giant, and it’s not just the Philippines. For example, Japan seems to be silently going nuclear and going on the offensive to protect its disputed territory. Within the next ten years, we could see a situation where all countries within the Asian giant’s reach become strong enough combined that China will have no choice but to go on a ‘charm offensive’ and unite the continent under its political/military/economic umbrella rather than go to war with every neighbor. Having done this, combined with the United States suiciding itself from within and becoming more unreliable as a partner each day, it will have effectively taken out America’s hegemony in the Asia Pacific without having to go to war with it. However, because that nobody has a crystal ball (that works), a war or skirmish in the future shouldn’t be dismissed.
MANILA – Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a US$1.8-billion (S$2.26b) military upgrade to help defend his country’s maritime territory against “bullies”, amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.
The announcement came on the same day that the Philippines filed a protest with China over the “illegal and provocative” presence of a Chinese warship and two other vessels at a Filipino-claimed shoal in the disputed South China Sea. Continue reading