Duterte declares upcoming Philippines-U.S. war games ‘the last one’

HANOI (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte plunged one of the United States’ most important Asian alliances deeper into uncertainty on Wednesday by declaring upcoming U.S.-Philippine military exercises “the last”, and ruling out any joint navy patrols.

The firebrand Duterte pledged to honor a longstanding security treaty with the United States but said China opposed joint marine drills in the Philippines starting next week and there would be no more war games with Washington after that.

“I am serving notice now to the Americans, this will be the last military exercise,” Duterte said during a visit to Vietnam. “Jointly, Philippines-U.S.: the last one.” Continue reading

PHL plans air, naval bases in Subic with access for US forces

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

Philippines boosts military to resist ‘bullies’

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