The U.S. and the Philippines are nearing an agreement to allow the U.S. military expanded presence on the island’s military bases as both countries eye China’s increasing threat to stability in the Pacific region, The Washington Post reported, citing officials.
The upcoming deal will upgrade access for units of the U.S. armed forces to Philippine military bases and include enhanced cooperation on a variety of security issues, such as rapid natural disaster response, the Post reported, citing U.S. and Philippine officials. Two of the sites under consideration lie on the northern Philippine island of Luzon, which analysts told the Post could serve as strategic bases from which to launch counter-China operations in the event of a contingency in the South China Sea — including an invasion of Taiwan.
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[Editor’s Note: This is an important development in terms of regional posture. The current President of the Philippines is Bongbong Marcos. He is the second child and only son of tenth president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. His predecessor, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, was well known for allowing extrajudicial killings in the nation’s brutal war on drugs. He is also well known for telling Obama to “Go to Hell.”