Discussions between the U.S. military and the Philippines’ Batanes islands over the development of a port could make China feel threatened.
“U.S. Considers Building Port in Philippines, Raising Concerns of Chinese Threat”
The U.S. military is talking about building a port in the Batanes islands of the Philippines. This move could make China feel threatened. The proposed port is about 125 miles away from Taiwan and would give the U.S. easier access to strategic islands facing Taiwan. China claims these islands as its own.
The Bashi Channel, an important route between the western Pacific and the disputed South China Sea, would also be a major waterway if China were to invade Taiwan. Filipino officials have confirmed that U.S. troops recently visited Batanes to discuss the port. The goal is to have an alternative port for cargo ships during rough seas in the monsoon season.
The U.S. wants to counter China’s presence in the South China Sea, where China has turned several islands into military bases. Steve Tsang, a China expert, says that China would see any U.S. efforts to build ports and facilities in Pacific islands as hostile. They could potentially support the U.S. if China were to attack Taiwan with force. Mark Montgomery, another expert, believes that the port plan could make China uncertain and put economic pressure on the Philippines.
“The Case of the Philippines” in “U.S. Strengthens Asian Alliances to Counter China”
The U.S. is trying to strengthen its relationships with Asian countries, including the Philippines, to counter China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region. While the U.S. has formal ties with China, it also has a close relationship with Taiwan and sells weapons to the island. The Philippines’ president has been getting closer to the U.S. by allowing access to military bases and announcing joint patrols in the South China Sea. The proposed port in Batanes is seen as part of the U.S.’s plan to surround China and prevent it from unifying with Taiwan. This further damage trust between the two countries.
Experts believe that the proposed port in Batanes, along with other activities involving China, will decrease trust between the U.S. and China. China sees the recent U.S.-Japan-South Korea summit and joint military exercises in the South China Sea and Yellow Sea as the Biden administration’s way of countering China, even though the U.S. claims it doesn’t want confrontation. Many Americans are also worried about China’s actions in the region. According to a new poll, two-thirds of Americans think the United States has to do more to prepare for a possible military threat from China, and roughly a third of Americans regard China as a threat.