2022/11/15 22:29(Update 11/16 08:14)

On the fifteenth of this month, the Philippine Ministry of Defense announced that the US military will build facilities at three military bases, including the Basel Air Base (pictured), north of Manila, next year. (Image from Wikipedia Commons by Judgefloro, CC BY1.0)

(CNN reporter Chen Yangon, Manila, 15th) The Philippine Ministry of Defense announced today that the United States will spend 66.5 million US dollars (about NT$2.065 billion) starting next year to launch three Philippine military bases under the framework of “enhanced defense cooperation” . Convention’ (EDCA) plans to build facilities.

US Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to visit the Philippines in late November to reaffirm and strengthen the alliance between the US and the Philippines.

Prior to He Jinli’s visit, the Philippine Department of National Defense issued a press release saying that the Philippines and the United States had agreed that the US military would be stationed at Cesar Pasa Air Base north of Manila and Fort Magsaysay Military Camp. In central Luzon from next year, and Lumpia Air Force Base on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines to begin construction of training, storage and other facilities.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement also opens up the use by US forces of Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan Province and Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base in the central Philippines. It has not yet been announced whether the US military has construction plans in these two places.

Manila and Washington signed the “Enhanced National Defense Cooperation Agreement” in April 2014, allowing the United States to arrange for more officers and soldiers to be stationed in the Philippines, share Philippine military bases, and build military facilities.

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However, after former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, he adopted a “pro-China, long-term, and pro-US” foreign policy, and the “Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement” was suspended. After the inauguration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the end of June, relations between the Philippines and the United States have improved, and various military exchanges have not only resumed, but also increased in intensity and frequency.

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) reports that Philippine Chief of Staff Bartolome Vicente Baccaro said yesterday that the United States hopes to add five new Philippine military bases for the use of the US military in addition to the existing bases under the “Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.” The authorities in Manila have not yet agreed.

Bacalu said the proposed US bases include two locations in Cagayan province at the northern tip of Luzon as well as Palawan and Zambales provinces in central Luzon and northeastern Luzon, and one site in Isabela province.

Cagayan and Isabella provinces are located in close proximity to Taiwan. In March, the Philippines and the United States chose Cagayan Province as one of the sites for the annual large-scale joint military exercise “Balikatan” (Palikatan), which has attracted attention.

In addition, Subic Bay, once one of the largest overseas bases for the US military, is located in Zambales province. Palawan lies next to disputed waters in the South China Sea that are claimed by the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and other parties.

The Philippine Department of Defense stated that in order to accelerate the implementation of the “Enhanced National Defense Cooperation Agreement” between the Philippines and the United States, the Department of Defense is committed to strengthening and repairing existing infrastructure at the existing five sites, building new infrastructure, and studying other new sites to create a more reliable joint defense posture. for the two countries.

The press release stated that the Department of Defense will focus on joint operations planning, building on the various Philippine-US military agreements based on the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), to develop the Philippine-US and joint military capabilities to meet current needs. Security challenges. As the US Army begins construction on three Philippine bases, the Department of Defense hopes to complete other pending projects as well.

The Philippine-American Mutual Defense Treaty was signed in 1951. The two countries promised to take joint actions to deal with the danger in the event of an armed attack on the territory of either the mainland, the island, military forces, official ships or aircraft under jurisdiction. from the Pacific Ocean. (Editor: Wei Shu) 1111115

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