US increases military presence in Asia because of China and North Korea

The US increases its military presence in Asia because of China and North Korea - Photo 1.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in the Philippines on February 2 – Photo: REUTERS

On February 2, the US and the Philippines announced a new agreement to allow US troops access to four more military bases in the Philippines. This is the latest development in a series of US efforts to increase its military presence in the region.

Observers see China as one of the biggest drivers of these efforts.

Increased military presence throughout Asia

The US has promoted defense cooperation and military presence in particular from Japan to the Solomon Islands. The US military is more involved in military exercises in key areas in the South China Sea as well as the Taiwan Strait. In some cases, the United States can provide logistical support for a potential conflict with China.

The recent visit to the Philippines is the 7th time that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has visited Asia in just two years leading the Pentagon.

Although the US will not be able to establish an indefinite military presence in the Philippines due to its constitutional constraints, the access to four additional military bases on this ally territory also makes a lot of sense for the Philippines. America.

US troops will thus be able to move around “strategic areas” in the Philippines, which will give them greater mobility around the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, as well as increase their capacity for military exercises and humanitarian relief. , training and some other tasks.

Similarly, in South Korea earlier, Minister Austin announced that the US would increase the deployment of advanced military products to the Korean peninsula, including fighter aircraft and aircraft carriers for training purposes. .

Mr. Austin and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Jong Sup, agreed to add coordinated battles. They also discussed a simulated exercise in February, with the goal of honing their response to North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons.

In Japan, the United States is also committed to meeting Tokyo’s security needs. In addition to the North Korea issue, Japan is currently concerned about China’s actions with Taiwan and the East and South China Seas.

In January, the US and Japan agreed to adjust the US military presence on Okinawa island to strengthen Japan’s anti-ship capabilities.

Military Parallel Dialogue

Recent statements regarding US military cooperation in the region have upset China and North Korea.

In response to the US-Philippines agreement, China’s Foreign Ministry accused Washington of pursuing a “selfish agenda”, calling it an act of escalating tensions in the region and endangering regional peace and stability. area.

In fact, countries still choose to dialogue with China besides military movements.

During the visit to China by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last month, the Philippines and China agreed to establish a direct communication channel between the foreign ministries of the two countries to peacefully resolve disputes in the East Sea.

On February 2, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa also discussed disputed areas in the East China Sea. Both spoke frankly about the other’s concerns. The Japanese side hailed this as a “good start”, and Mr. Qin also invited Mr. Hayashi to visit China.

This period is also when China is about to welcome US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This is a very well-received visit.

Philippines gives US access to 4 more military basesPhilippines gives US access to 4 more military bases

The new deal gives US troops access to four more Philippine military bases, amid Washington’s concerns about tensions over China’s moves towards Taiwan and the South China Sea.

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