US economic and military officials swarm the country to push the Indo-Pacific Security Strategy

This article is available in Pilipino

High-ranking US economic and military officials arrived in the Philippines around the same time this March to push the Indo-Pacific Security Strategy, which was outlined for US plans to confront China. The purpose of this strategy is to limit the expansion of China’s economic, political and military influence in the Philippines by strengthening US imperialist hegemony throughout Asia.

Gina Raimondo, US department of commerce secretary, led the Presidential Trade and Investment Mission sent by the US government to peddle the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a “key” part of the Indo-Pacific Security Strategy. The US mission was touted as a “first” in the history of the two countries, even though American companies had long been plundering the Philippines’ resources for over a century, and were actually dominating the local economy.

The delegation included 22 heads of large American companies representing US interests in “renewable” and nuclear energy, digital services, financial services, logistics and transportation, infrastructure, investment and others. Despite the size and scope of operations of the “visiting” companies and the Marcos regime officials’ panhandling for foreign investment, the delegation promised to fund projects and programs up to only $1 billion. The delegation was in the country from March 11 to March 14.

On March 10-14, around the same time of Raimondo’s visit, Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, was also in the Philippines to meet Ferdinand Marcos, Defense Sec. Gilbert Teodoro and AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr, along with other senior AFP officers. They discussed preparations for Balikatan 2024, which is expected to be the “biggest” than past Balikatan exercises and other wargames. The Balikatan exercises, which were bilateral in the past, will now involve the forces of other countries allied to the US.

US State Department secretary Anthony Blinken is also expected to arrive in the Philippines on March 18 to meet with Marcos and his officials. He is also scheduled to meet Japan’s foreign minister Yoko Kamikawa while in the country. Japan is one of the Balikatan 2024 participants.

AB: US economic and military officials swarm the country to push the Indo-Pacific Security Strategy