China infuriated by US-Philippines defense plans
The US decision to station forces in the Philippines could have dangerous repercussions. Beijing may enact economic sanctions after Manila invited in US troops in response to an escalating territorial dispute over the South China Sea.
Dr. Pak-Nung Wong of the City University of Hong Kong told RT that the Philippines is merely cashing in on America’s move.
“At the international level, the Philippines knows that the US has definitely returned to Asia – refocusing its military and security deployment in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, targeting China and Iran as the primary security concern,” he said.
“At the regional level, the Philippines also sees that there are recent changes in the regional politics, particularly in Taiwan, where Mr. Ma Ying-jeou and Kuomingtang [party] administration were successfully re-elected. That means Beijing and Taipei would have a more stable relationship, especially in terms of economic integration across the Strait in the coming years,” Wong explained.
The scientist also noted that the Philippines has realized that the US will need a more reliable ally in the Asia-Pacific region and is acting accordingly.
“The Philippines is willing to lend its hand to the American ally for that kind of particular security concern that the US is having in the Asia-Pacific region,” he explained.
Another important factor in the unfolding political game, Wong continued, is public opinion in China.
“I have already noticed there’s a tremendous pressure from the public opinion within China that’s asking and urging Chinese government to take a very tough position towards the Philippines. However, I think that the Chinese government should be a bit more careful about these internal demands,” he said.
“So I think that the Philippines is doing all that to try to get the best out of these China-US relations,” Dr. Pak-Nung Wong concluded.