Volume V, Number 06. March 31, 2023.
As tension between the US and China continue to escalate, the Philippines is more and more being drawn into the growing maelstrom of inter-imperialist conflict. Both superpowers profess to be friends of the Filipino people, but in fact have utter contempt of Philippine sovereignty.
Instead of asserting the country’s independence, the Marcos regime acts as stooge to US imperialist design in Asia. It allows the US to construct more military bases in the country, as part of the war preparation in line with “first island chain” (consisting of Taiwan, Okinawa, and the Philippines) US military strategy. As in the Second World War, the possibility of the country again becoming a battleground of conflict is real and imminent.
The US government’s urgency to construct four or five more military facilities within camps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are clearly part of its war theater preparations and aim to provoke China and raise the level of armed tensions. This is further exacerbated by plans to carry out a series of joint war exercises, including the planned deployment of at least 12,000 American troops for the Balikatan exercises, on the pretext of preparing to “defend the archipelago.”
The US has been increasing its military presence in Japan, Korea, and other countries surrounding China. Its aircraft carriers also maintain permanent presence in the west and eastern seas of the Philippines, the Japanese sea and in the waters around the Taiwan strait. It has sold two nuclear-powered submarines to Australia that aim further expand the military presence of US and its subalterns in the South China Sea.
The US claims that all these are part of its “military deterrence” strategy, but are in fact, calculated to provoke China to take military action. It is constantly stoking Taiwan’s secession to push China to unleash its military might, and in turn, use the pretext of defending Taiwan to justify US armed intervention.
The US knows very well that prepositioning its military troops and equipment in the Philippines, including long-range missiles, can easily be interpreted by China as aggressive and provocative acts. The US continues to raise the possibility of military conflicts with China erupting and escalating into a full-scale war.
China itself maintains large military facilities in the South China Sea that violate the country’s sovereign marine territory.
The Filipino people must demand the imperialist US and China to put an end to their saber-rattling, denounce their war preparations involving Philippine territory, oppose plans to build more US military bases and facilities in the archipelago, call for the pull-out of all US troops in the country, call for the pull-out of all Chinese warships that transgress in the country’s maritime territory and take away the source of livelihood of Filipino fisherfolk, and oppose plans to hold large scale war exercises.