Balikatan 2023 focused on US war preparations over Taiwan
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces condemn the Balikatan 2023 exercises with its barefaced display of US military hegemonism and gross contempt for Philippine sovereignty.
The US deployed 12,600 swaggering troops, joining 5,000 troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to project military power while continuing to provoke China over the Taiwan issue. By brandishing their powerful weapons and staging live fire exercises less than 500 kilometers from Taiwan, the US is brazenly using the Philippines to heighten its provocations against China.
The Balikatan exercises comes at the heels of the recent visit of Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen to the US where she met American officials who drumbeated support for Taiwan’s separation from China. The staging of a scenario of an island invasion along the coasts of Cagayan province are clearly a dress rehearsal.
However, even at the risk of making themselves look stupid, Philippine security officials are repeatedly declaring that the Balikatan exercises have nothing to do with US war provocations over Taiwan, in the vain attempt at fooling the people. Their lies are, however, have long been exposed by a leading US military officer who revealed that recent US operations in Japan and the Philippine form part of war theater operations around Taiwan.
On the other hand, the AFP brags that the joint exercises with the US military are geared towards “defending the archipelago,” insinuating that the country is under Chinese threat. They obscure the obvious fact that the Philippines is facing such threats only because the US is using the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to build military bases and military facilities in the Philippines as part of the US first island chain strategy against China.
Notwithstanding the fact that imperialist China has violated Philippine sovereignty having built military facilities which have encroached on the country’s maritime territory and dislocated Filipino fishermen, it has not declared nor displayed any intention of invading the Philippines. As a rising imperialist power, China has shown more interest in increasing its power by expanding its economic power without having to go through war.
The US is continually stoking Taiwan “independence” in order to force China to “invade” the island, which in the first place the US and international community have long considered part of Chinese territory. So far, China can counter the provocative and aggressive acts of the US merely by securing the airspace and surrounding waters without actually landing its forces in Taiwan.
The AFP is as interested and zealous as its imperialist masters in igniting a war over Taiwan. The AFP believes it can get its hands on some US military hardware by allowing itself to be used and placed under the command and control of the US. The US military is using the Balikatan exercises to display their advanced weaponry to make the AFP officers drool and forever keep the AFP dependent and impuissant. Officers of the AFP are openly jealous of Ukraine for having received billions of dollars of military hardware, in exchange for allowing itself to be used as pawn in the US war against Russia (even if the US actually only dumped its scrapyard-destined previous-generation weaponry to Ukraine).
The threats of inter-imperialist war continue to rise primarily on US instigation in its drive to force a unipolar world and impose itself as sole superpower.
In unity with the peace-loving peoples around the world, the Filipino people oppose US war provocations and do not agree with the country being used as pawn in the hegemonic schemes of the US. They are outraged by the Balikatan war exercises and will never allow the US to use the country as its military base for its wars of aggression in Asia.