Philippines becoming battleground amid heightened US and China rivalry
Superpower discord between the US and China continues to rise and the Philippines is increasingly being drawn into the growing vortex of their conflict. Both powers profess to be friends of the Filipino people, but in fact have complete contempt of Philippine sovereignty.
Instead of asserting the country’s independence, the Marcos regime has adopted the policy of “no one’s enemy” to justify the plan to allow the US to construct more military bases in the the country, and its servility to China’s expanding claim of economic and military dominion in areas within the West Philippine Sea. As a result, the possibility of the country again becoming a battleground of inter-imperialist conflict continues to rise.
The US government’s rush to construct four or five more military facilities within camps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are clearly part of its war theater preparations and aim to provoke China and raise the level of armed tensions. This is further exacerbated by plans to carry out a series of joint war exercises, including the planned deployment of at least 12,000 American troops for the Balikatan exercises, on the pretext of preparing to “defend the archipelago.”
In addition to US military build up in the Philippines, the US has been increasing its military presence in Japan, Korea, and other countries surrounding China. Its aircraft carriers also maintain permanent presence in the west and eastern seas of the Philippines, the Japanese sea and in the waters around the Taiwan strait. It has sold two nuclear-powered submarines to Australia that aim further expand the military presence of US and its subalterns in the South China Sea.
The US claims that all these are part of its “military deterrence” strategy, but are in fact, calculated to provoke China to take military action. It is constantly stoking Taiwan secession to push China to unleash its military might, and in turn, use the pretext of defending Taiwan to justify US armed intervention.
In response, the Chinese embassy in Manila issued a veiled threat that allowing the US to push through with plans to construct more military facilities “will seriously harm Philippine national interests and endanger regional peace and stability.” Such threats do not help lower the tensions. China itself maintains large military facilities in the South China Sea that violate the country’s sovereign marine territory.
Amid rising inter-imperialist tensions, the Party calls on the Filipino people to condemn US and Chinese saber-rattling, denounce their war preparations involving Philippine territory, uphold Philippine sovereignty and fight for genuine national independence and non-alignment in the rivalries of imperialist powers.
The Filipino people must demand the imperialist US and China to put an end to their saber-rattling, denounce their war preparations involving Philippine territory, oppose plans to build more US military bases and facilities in the Philippines, call for the pull-out of all US troops in the country, call for the pull-out of all Chinese warships that transgress in the country’s maritime territory and take away the source of livelihood of Filipino fisherfolk, oppose plans to hold large scale war exercises, and demand the dismantling of all foreign military bases, whether American and Chinese.
The Filipino people must continue to link up with other peoples of Asia and other parts of the globe who are resisting imperialist military intervention in their countries. A united front to fight imperialist wars must be established and strengthened and stop these from erupting into a conflagration.
Rising US and China conflict are among the manifestations how inter-imperialist conflicts are rapidly worsening amid the acute global capitalist crisis. As a result of deepening and prolonged economic slowdown and falling rates of profit, leading capitalist countries are driven to protect and expand their own economies and spheres of investment, leading to wars and conflict to change the existing division of the world between the imperialist superpowers.