United States shifts military focus to Indo-China

China has accused the United States of ramping up tensions in the Indo Pacific, after Washington announced it will increase military activities in the Philippines. The move strengthens US forces close to both the contested South China Sea and to Taiwan.

The United States and the Philippines have recently announced an agreement to expand America’s military presence in the Southeast Asian nation. Under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) dating to 2014, American forces will now be granted access to four more bases in “strategic areas of the country”. This expansion is seen as a strategic move for Washington, as it will provide them with a foothold on the southeastern edge of the South China Sea and Taiwan.

The US and Philippines are also planning to send forces to participate in Balikatan, their main annual bilateral military exercise. This increased cooperation between both countries is seen as a response to increasing tensions with China over territorial disputes in the region.

The EDCA has been seen by some as a way for Washington to strengthen its ties with Manila and counterbalance Beijing’s influence in the region. With this new agreement, both countries hope to continue their long-standing alliance and maintain peace and stability in Southeast Asia.

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