The Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled a few days ago that the controversial Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between America and the Philippines was constitutional, which not only allows America to share military bases with the Philippines, but also makes it possible for the Philippines to build more military facilities. The most recent news states that the Philippines already plans to provide the United States with eight military bases. This signifies that the United States and the Philippines have entered a “new honeymoon,” as American military power will be increasingly poured into the Philippines.
From 1565 to 1946, during the period prior to its independence, the Philippines were continuously in a state of colonization, and after 1902 it was under the colonial rule of the United States. Immediately after the Philippines became independent, the United States still controlled the Philippines in matters of the military. During the Cold War period, the United States constructed an alliance with the Philippines by signing the Mutual Defense Treaty, as well as other measures. In military matters, the Philippines of this period was little different from the way it was under the control of the United States. Even though the Philippines abolished the Military Bases Agreement in 1991 and American troops evacuated the Philippines, the United States and the Philippines again signed a visiting forces agreement in 1998, allowing the United States to return to the Philippines with the exception that it was no longer allowed to be stationed there permanently. This instance of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the United States and the Philippines actually allows the American military to once again be permanently stationed in the Philippines. Whether or not the Philippines will be able to get accustomed again to becoming America’s military colony and serving the needs of America’s military strategy will depend on its ability to exercise patience.
In recent years following the escalation of the problems in the South China Sea, America has been seeking to station its troops in the Palawan Islands, located in the southwest Philippines, in order to meddle in matters in the South China Sea. We can infer that following the approval of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the United States and the Philippines, the United States will act with great speed to establish a military base in the Palawan Islands. Because the South China Sea disputes mainly center on the Spratly Islands, American military forces stationed at Palawan Island could exert speedy and direct influence on this regional hotspot, allowing American strategic plans to become reality. It is understood that among the eight military bases that the Philippines is currently planning on providing to the United States, there are two that may be located on Palawan Island. As a country outside the South China Sea region, the United States is directly using military tactics to exert influence on the South China Sea dispute, which is not only disadvantageous for the resolution of the South China Sea dispute, but could even make the security situation in the South China Sea more tumultuous.
The influence of the “new honeymoon” between the United States and the Philippines might not stop there. Previously, America could only station troops in the Philippines under abnormal circumstances, and could only use military exercises or other formalities to [enable] a mobilized military. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between America and the Philippines has now given America, which is adjusting military power in the Asia-Pacific region, more rights to act on its own accord. It could even prompt American ground troops in the Far East region to move south and to station themselves in the Philippines. This could potentially bring about an interaction between Northeast Asian and Southeast Asian military.
After obtaining permission to station troops in the Philippines under normal conditions, the American military will undoubtedly increase the deployment of the latest arms and equipment in the Philippines, which will cause Korea, metropolitan Japan and Okinawa, as well as the Philippines and other places to form a string of American weapons systems. For example, in the two locations of Aomori, Japan and Okinawa, Japan, America has already established X band radar frequency to support Patriot missiles. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between America and the Philippines may push the Philippines to agree to the establishment of another X band radar frequency within its borders, thus making America realize its goal of building a complete Patriot missile radar support network in the western Pacific region. In this way, America will greatly promote the export of the Patriot missile system to Asian-Pacific countries from the countries of the Baltic Sea coastal area through China and Europe to the Balkan Peninsula, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and all the way to Northeast Asia, beginning the construction of a chain of Patriot missile systems. As everyone knows, Patriot missiles not only have the ability to defend against incoming missiles, but they also can be used as offensive tactical missiles. America’s construction of this chain of weapons systems is not only forming a serious threat for China, but also presents a serious threat to other countries involved. This not only endangers safety in the Asia-Pacific region, it is also disadvantageous for the stability of peace in other regions.