Philippine President Marcos says no plans to grant US access to more military bases

MANILA (Bloomberg): The Philippines has no plans to grant the US access to more military bases, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Monday.

There are "no plans to open or establish more EDCA bases,” Marcos told foreign correspondents in Manila, referring to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

Marcos, who met with US President Joe Biden and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Washington last week, said the agreement with the two countries isn’t directed at anyone and is meant to keep the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

The US last year won access to four more Philippine sites under the 2014 EDCA, which initially covered five Philippine military bases.

The new sites are located near Taiwan and the South China Sea, where Beijing and Manila are embroiled in an increasingly tense territorial dispute.

Marcos’s comments come amid growing tensions between the Philippines and China over territorial claims in the South China Sea, and days after he secured fresh defense commitments from Biden.

Since Marcos took power in 2022, he has asserted the country’s claims in the South China Sea and boosted security ties with Washington. The Philippine president has also sought to parlay the country’s deepening defence relations with the US and its allies into broader economic benefits.

One area being looked at is the energy exploration in the South China Sea where the Philippines may invite US companies to participate.

-- ©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Philippines , Marcos , Statement , No Grant , US , Military Bases


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