Headline RoundupFebruary 2nd, 2023

Philippines Grants US Access to More Military Bases to Counter China

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Philippines agreed to allow the U.S. to substantially expand its military presence in the country, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday. 

The Details: U.S. forces will be allowed access to four more Philippine military bases, adding to the five they already had access to under a 2014 agreement. That agreement did not allow the U.S. to establish permanent bases, and Austin stressed on Thursday that the U.S. was “not seeking a permanent basing.” Instead, he said the aim was to increase military “effectiveness” and “interoperability.”

For Context: The move was generally described as countering China’s influence in the region. This continues a trend of rising U.S. military involvement in the region, including the formation of the Indo-Pacific Quadrilateral Dialogue (also called the Quad) between the United States, Australia, India, and Japan, as well as AUKUS, an agreement to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines. On Tuesday, the U.S. and South Korea said they would step up joint military exercises, and in December, Japan approved its largest military buildup since WWII.

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was common and nonpartisan across the spectrum, with both right and left-rated outlets covering the announcement, the geopolitical context, and Filipinos who protested against U.S. military involvement.

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