The US closes a key gap in its military encirclement of China, but does it make the world safer? — RT World News

By building more military bases around Beijing, Washington can create a threat, not contain it.

Via Timur Fomenkoa political analyst

The United States has made a deal with the Philippines to secure access to four additional military bases, closing a critical gap in China’s military encirclement.

As noted by the BBC, the bases are “A significant piece of real estate will provide a front seat to monitor the Chinese in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.” This completes a arc around China including the US presence in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. That’s ironic, considering how the US and the Western media continue to see Beijing as a threat in the region.

The United States is pursuing a strategy of militarily encircling and containing China, and is determined to significantly increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific through a series of multilateral and bilateral alliances. direction. This has included wiring in the Philippines, which occupies a key geostrategic position in the South China Sea to the south of Taiwan immediately. Its stance means that, though its leaders like to deny it, that the archipelagic nation, once a colony of the United States, inevitably ends up being drawn into a conflict. between the United States and China.

History in many ways repeats itself. The Philippines, and other related territories, are the launching pad from which the United States forces itself to become a Pacific power. The Spanish-American War in the twilight of the 19th century saw the United States annex territories that were once part of Spain’s early modern global empire, the Philippines being the one of all. The United States regards these islands as vital gateways to the world’s most important and lucrative shipping lanes. The Philippines existed as an American colony before gaining independence in 1946, then functioned as a Cold War-era American military base, a bulwark against communism in Asia.

In some respects, the world has changed. Although the United States has maintained a defense treaty with Manila, it no longer has the full force deployment it once did in the country. Likewise, the Philippines no longer views China as a zero-sum communist adversary during the Cold War, instead seeing China as an important economic and trade partner.

However, the United States prefers to exploit geopolitical conflicts to draw countries into the equation and force them to take sides. Starting with the US policy of pivoting to Asia under the Obama administration, the US pursued a policy of military encirclement towards China, prompting Beijing to respond by militarizing the South China Sea, arousing international disputes. The decades-long dispute has put the country at odds with its neighbours. including the Philippines.

While Manilla has in recent years been careful not to anger China, the country’s leaders are walking on eggshells, between seeking closer ties with Beijing and trying to military security in territorial disputes. The previous president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, is said to be more than that pro-China and pro-multipolar in its foreign policy. This stems from the recognition that the United States, despite being a historic partner, cannot solve all the problems it faces, especially chronic poverty and high crime. organization. To some extent, however, there has been an inclination towards the United States at least militarily under new president Ferdinand Marcos Jr, even though he visited Beijing at the beginning of the year.

US military strategy towards China aims to check it out in a geographical feature called “The first island chain” of Asia. This extends from the Russian Far East, to Japan, to Taiwan, to the Philippines and the islands in the South China Sea. In other words, a US war against China will be won or lost depending on who can dominate the region, which is why the US has become so aggressive towards both Taiwan and China. East Sea. Thus, increased access to bases in the Philippines will allow the country to project greater air, intelligence, and naval power in the event of a contingency, although it remains to be seen whether the Philippines itself becomes a force to be reckoned with. become a real belligerent in this scenario.

Either way, it is clear that in recent months the United States has significantly accelerated its efforts to contain China technologically and militarily. As it did with Russia, this involves an ever-expanding network of alliances, and it is this activity that will ultimately increase the risk of war. As the BBC explains, the Philippines is not really focused on this issue. It is trying to pursue a balancing act, “best of both sides” if you can, but the United States is doing all it can to make sure that won’t happen. While China is often pragmatic in its relations with other countries, Washington wants to force other countries to take its side by creating situations in which that becomes inevitable. Can Manila still continue to tighten? There are a few stressful years ahead.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author only and do not necessarily represent RT.


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