The United States aims to strengthen relations with the Philippines as the future of military agreements prolongs

When the U.S. military approached the official end of its mission in Arlington, Arlington, U.S.A. on July 21, 2021, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (not within frame) He was a brief reporter at the Department of Defense.Reuters / Ken Sedeno

July 29, 2021

By Idrees Ali and Karen Lema

Manila (Reuters) -US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin concludes his two-day visit with the United States with the Philippines, which has partially stagnated the instability of the agreement to control the presence of U.S. forces with the Philippines. Working to strengthen our relationship on Friday.

The Pentagon chief met with President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, saying he would cancel the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) signed by the two countries in 1998 last year. The future of the agreement.

The VFA provides rules for the replacement of thousands of US troops in and out of the Philippines for war training and exercises. We assume it is even more important as the United States and its allies contend with China’s claims in the region.

US relations with former colonies continue to put pressure on the rise of Duterte’s power in 2016, his frequent criticisms of US foreign policy, and nevertheless the maritime boundaries of the Philippines. It is complicated by the acceptance of.

The Philippines is a treaty ally of the United States, and some military agreements rely on VFA. Duterte vowed to terminate the deal after the United States refused a visa to the president’s ally, Senator of the Philippines, but repeatedly suspended the latest expiration date last month. The current expiration date set by Duterte is the end of the year.

“The alliance is swimming for the threat of VFA abolition when desperately needing to move forward,” said Gregory Polling, a Southeast Asian analyst at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. “.

“China has eaten both lunches for five years …. You can’t plan an alliance every six months,” Polling added.

Duterte said on Monday that his country would fight for “legitimately ours” and would not allow it to be bullied by any superpower.

For the United States, having the ability to replace in the armed forces is strategically important not only for the defense of the Philippines, but also when it comes to countering the increasingly aggressive Chinese actions in the region.

Tensions continue between the Philippines and China over the conflict areas between the South China Sea and the United States, sending millions of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines to help fight the pandemic.

The United States repeatedly warned China this month that an attack on Philippine troops in the South China Sea would trigger the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

The situation is complicated by the Philippine presidential election set in 2022. Duterte is prohibited by the national constitution from seeking re-election, but his party encourages him to run again as Vice President.

Former US Secretary of Defense Abraham Denmark said Austin had the opportunity to show that the alliance remains in the interests of the United States and the Philippines.

“Neither side thinks the United States is so interested in becoming a political issue in domestic politics,” Denmark said.

Lorenzana said last week that a sub-agreement to implement the VFA extension would be with Duterte’s office to discuss an agreement with Austin and a mutual defense treaty.

(Report by Idrees Ali and Karen Lema, edited by Will Dunham)

The United States aims to strengthen relations with the Philippines as the future of military agreements prolongs

Source link The United States aims to strengthen relations with the Philippines as the future of military agreements prolongs

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