Japan, Philippines, and US Join Forces to Counter China’s Maritime Expansion

News AnalysisJapanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has wrapped up his visit to the Philippines, focused on solidifying a new military partnership. Concurrently, the United States, Japan, and the Philippines are forming an alliance to counter the Chinese regime's growing aggression in the region.“In the South China Sea, trilateral cooperation to protect the freedom of the seas is underway,” the prime minister said.Mr. Kishida said the international community is at a turning point in its history, and the rules-based international order is facing serious challenges. He expressed that Japan is willing to cooperate with the Philippines to protect freedom and the rule of law, and he stressed the importance of working with like-minded countries like the United States.For the first time, Japan will provide military assistance to the Philippines using its new Official Security Assistance (OSA) framework. In addition, Mr. Kishida also pledged to support infrastructure projects in the Philippines.Related Stories10/23/2023Due to the expansion of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) control in the region, the two heads of state expressed deep concern over the status quo in the East and South China Seas. They agreed that any attempts to change the status quo by force cannot be tolerated.The Chinese regime’s bullying tactics have brought Japan, the Philippines, and the United States together to advocate for freedom of navigation and security.During the meeting, Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed hope that the Philippines and Japan would expand their cooperation in essential areas, such as economic development and security. He also mentioned that the United States, Japan, and the Philippines established a framework for consultation among senior security officials in June this year. He added that he looked forward to its further expansion in response to critical issues and expressed the importance of cooperation among the three countries.Speaking at a press conference after the talks, Mr. Marcos said Mr. Kishida's visit to the Philippines marked a new milestone in their strategic partnership. Japan has agreed to provide military radar systems to the Philippines. The two countries also reached an agreement on matters such as security and joint military exercises. Japan, Philippines Threatened by CCP Both the Philippines and China claim sovereignty over the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. This year, the China Coast Guard has increased its harassment of Filipino vessels in the area. On Oct. 22, a China Coast Guard vessel collided with a Philippines patrol ship.In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that the Mischief Reef is within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. However, the CCP has set up a military base on the island, including military radars, a runway for fighter jets, and a missile depot.The Mischief Reef is the gateway to one-third of the world's maritime trade. However, due to the Chinese military presence in the area, it has been regarded as a dangerous zone, and foreign fishing vessels have been forced to abandon the waters where they had been fishing for generations.According to Clarita Carlos, a former national security adviser of the Philippines, the Chinese officials talk about “shared prosperity,” but they believe the Filipinos can be "fooled and bullied."Japan also has territorial disputes with China. China claims that the Senkaku Islands have been Chinese territory since ancient times, while Japan says that the islands have been incorporated into Japanese territory since 1895 and continued to be a part of Japan under international law after World War II. The CCP enacted a law in 1992 defining those islands as Chinese territory. Since 2008, China has dispatched ships into the waters and has been engaged in multiple confrontations with Japan ever since.Since 2012, China Coast Guard ships have increased their intrusion into Japanese waters. This year, Japanese media reported on Oct. 16 that two Chinese ships entered Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands. US-Philippines Alliance  The U.S.-Philippines military alliance is based on the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement, and the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. The 2014 agreement allows the U.S. military to deploy troops and weapons to five military bases in the Philippines.On Feb. 2 this year, the United States and the Philippines reached an agreement allowing the U.S. military access to four additional military bases in the Philippines, including those in the northern part of the country close to Taiwan and the Spratly Islands.As tension in the South China Sea and the East China Sea intensifies, the strategic location of the Philippines has become crucial to the United States for military operations and defense strategies to counter the CCP’s expansionism.On May 1, Mr. Marcos visited the United States for talks with President Joe Biden. In the face

Japan, Philippines, and US Join Forces to Counter China’s Maritime Expansion

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News Analysis

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has wrapped up his visit to the Philippines, focused on solidifying a new military partnership. Concurrently, the United States, Japan, and the Philippines are forming an alliance to counter the Chinese regime's growing aggression in the region.

“In the South China Sea, trilateral cooperation to protect the freedom of the seas is underway,” the prime minister said.

Mr. Kishida said the international community is at a turning point in its history, and the rules-based international order is facing serious challenges. He expressed that Japan is willing to cooperate with the Philippines to protect freedom and the rule of law, and he stressed the importance of working with like-minded countries like the United States.

For the first time, Japan will provide military assistance to the Philippines using its new Official Security Assistance (OSA) framework. In addition, Mr. Kishida also pledged to support infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

Due to the expansion of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) control in the region, the two heads of state expressed deep concern over the status quo in the East and South China Seas. They agreed that any attempts to change the status quo by force cannot be tolerated.

The Chinese regime’s bullying tactics have brought Japan, the Philippines, and the United States together to advocate for freedom of navigation and security.

During the meeting, Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed hope that the Philippines and Japan would expand their cooperation in essential areas, such as economic development and security. He also mentioned that the United States, Japan, and the Philippines established a framework for consultation among senior security officials in June this year. He added that he looked forward to its further expansion in response to critical issues and expressed the importance of cooperation among the three countries.

Speaking at a press conference after the talks, Mr. Marcos said Mr. Kishida's visit to the Philippines marked a new milestone in their strategic partnership. Japan has agreed to provide military radar systems to the Philippines. The two countries also reached an agreement on matters such as security and joint military exercises.

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Japan, Philippines Threatened by CCP

Both the Philippines and China claim sovereignty over the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands. This year, the China Coast Guard has increased its harassment of Filipino vessels in the area. On Oct. 22, a China Coast Guard vessel collided with a Philippines patrol ship.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that the Mischief Reef is within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. However, the CCP has set up a military base on the island, including military radars, a runway for fighter jets, and a missile depot.

The Mischief Reef is the gateway to one-third of the world's maritime trade. However, due to the Chinese military presence in the area, it has been regarded as a dangerous zone, and foreign fishing vessels have been forced to abandon the waters where they had been fishing for generations.

According to Clarita Carlos, a former national security adviser of the Philippines, the Chinese officials talk about “shared prosperity,” but they believe the Filipinos can be "fooled and bullied."

Japan also has territorial disputes with China. China claims that the Senkaku Islands have been Chinese territory since ancient times, while Japan says that the islands have been incorporated into Japanese territory since 1895 and continued to be a part of Japan under international law after World War II. The CCP enacted a law in 1992 defining those islands as Chinese territory. Since 2008, China has dispatched ships into the waters and has been engaged in multiple confrontations with Japan ever since.
Since 2012, China Coast Guard ships have increased their intrusion into Japanese waters. This year, Japanese media reported on Oct. 16 that two Chinese ships entered Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands.
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US-Philippines Alliance 

The U.S.-Philippines military alliance is based on the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement, and the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. The 2014 agreement allows the U.S. military to deploy troops and weapons to five military bases in the Philippines.

On Feb. 2 this year, the United States and the Philippines reached an agreement allowing the U.S. military access to four additional military bases in the Philippines, including those in the northern part of the country close to Taiwan and the Spratly Islands.

As tension in the South China Sea and the East China Sea intensifies, the strategic location of the Philippines has become crucial to the United States for military operations and defense strategies to counter the CCP’s expansionism.

On May 1, Mr. Marcos visited the United States for talks with President Joe Biden. In the face of Chinese maritime threats, the two leaders emphasized the need to firmly uphold freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.

President Biden told Mr. Marcos, "We are facing new challenges, and I can't think of any better partner to have than you."

President Biden reaffirmed the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, emphasizing the United States would support the Philippines in the event of an armed attack. He said that the two countries "not only share a strong partnership" but also "a deep friendship" and that the U.S. defense commitment to the Philippines is "ironclad."

Mr. Marcos said the Philippines wants its only treaty ally to strengthen and redefine the relationship and its role in the South China Sea, the Asia-Pacific, and the Indo-Pacific regions.

U.S. officials said the two countries will strengthen military cooperation and cyber safety and that Washington will support the modernization of the Philippine Armed Forces, including providing three C-130 transport aircraft to the country.