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Countering China: US-Japan Alliance Commits $2.5 Billion to Philippine Defense

Daniel Kim Views  

AP-Yonhap News

Ahead of the first tripartite summit between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate on the 10th (local time) to strengthen the Philippines’ defense with $2.5 billion in support.

According to Reuters, former ambassadors to Japan, Republican Senator Bill Hagerty, and Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, introduced a bill jointly. The bill authorizes $500 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) aid to the Philippines annually for five years until 2029. According to Hagerty’s office, the areas of aid support for the Philippines include coastal patrols, submarines, integrated air defense systems, maritime security, and reconnaissance surveillance.

The Philippines, a long-standing ally of the United States, is becoming increasingly important in the joint efforts of the United States and Japan to counter the threat from China. However, its military power has been neglected and urgently needs financial support for modernization. In a statement obtained by Reuters, Hagerty explained the significance of the bill, saying, “Strengthening cooperation with the Philippines is very important at a time when the threat from China, a communist power in the South China Sea (the Philippine name for the South China Sea) and the South China Sea, is increasing.” Senator Kaine also emphasized, “It is urgent for the Filipino people facing such threats to secure (necessary) resources and support.”

The United States, noting the significant progress in bilateral defense cooperation with the Philippines since President Ferdinand Marcos took office in 2022, announced a $100 million (approximately KRW 1.36 trillion) FMF grant to the Philippines. The Philippines, which showed a pro-China stance during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, President Marcos’s predecessor, has turned pro-American since President Marcos took office in 2022.

Meanwhile, on the 11th, a tripartite summit between U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Philippine President Marcos is scheduled in Washington, D.C., to discuss cooperation and measures to contain China. Before this, President Marcos will also hold a bilateral meeting with President Biden. The Philippines has recently been strengthening its security cooperation with the United States and Japan to contain China, which is in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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