by Walden Bello, The Daily Sheeple:
As the Asia-Pacific region descends into a period of destabilizing conflict, the Philippines is quickly becoming a frontline state in the U.S. strategy to contain China—the central thrust of the Obama administration’s so-called “Pivot to Asia.” In the most recent development, the Philippine government has offered the United States greater access to its military bases.
China’s controversial moves in the Western Pacific have served as a convenient excuse for heightened U.S. military presence in the region. In particular, Beijing’s claim of the whole South China Sea (now also called the West Philippine Sea) as Chinese territory has allowed the United States to portray itself as indispensable for protecting the region’s smaller countries from Chinese hegemony. A one-time U.S. colony and ally, the Philippine government has been especially receptive to Washington’s siren call.
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