US Army "clearing operations" in Basco Port in Batanes part of preparation for war against China

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The Batanes local government announced on June 7 the official end of the US Army “clearing operations” at the Basco Port in Barangay Chanarian, Basco. The US Army and the local government claim this is for the benefit of ships and fishing boats at the pier. In reality, the US cleared the port to strengthen its presence in the province closest to Taiwan, as part of the its war provocations against rival China.

Basco Port is the islands’ only pier in the northern part of Batanes, including Mavulis Island. This island is only 128 kilometers away from Cape Eluanbi, the southernmost part of the island of Taiwan. It is closer to Taiwan than Luzon. This is the farthest part of the Philippines where the US can build military facilities, ports and military supplies to serve as a launching pad for the war it provokes against China.

The US Army’s 130th Engineer Brigade troopers and its minions from the Philippine Army’s 525th Combat Engineer Battalion began removing rocks and other obstacles in Basco Port on April 6 as part of the Salaknib and Balikatan 2024 war games. They used explosives, drilling machines and jackhammers which disrupted the ocean ecosystem.

Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco showed full servility in expressing gratitude to the US imperialist for the “charitable work” of addressing boat and ship owners’ longstanding issue with sharp stones in Basco Port.”

Amid the local government’s alleged limited funds, Governor Cayco herself “asked for help” from the US military that has been constantly disrupting Batanes for the Balikatan war games. Cayco pleaded with Mary Kay Carlson, US Ambassador to the Philippines during a meeting at the US embassy in Manila.

The governor even held a program to express her gratitude to the US Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the project. She stressed that the cooperation between the US and the AFP is proof of the policy that “everyone is Batanes’ friend,” despite US military presence threatening Batanes in the face of rising tensions with the US’ rival China.

The US military presence in Batanes to date is proof that foreign presence in the country is constant. This is despite the fact that the Balikatan war games ended on May 9. Meanwhile, the forces of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the US Air Force will conduct the Cope Thunder war games in the country this coming June 17-28.

AB: US Army "clearing operations" in Basco Port in Batanes part of preparation for war against China