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US Encircling China With Military Bases to Cut Off Ocean Access in Conflict Scenario – Reports

Philippine Coast Guard members wave small flags of the Philippines, U.S. and Japan during welcoming ceremonies at the pier in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, June 1, 2023

Washington’s rhetoric about respecting the One-China principle that negates Taiwanese independence is frequently undermined by anti-China sentiments voiced by the US political establishment, multi-billion dollar aid packages for Taiwan and military efforts destabilizing security in the region.The US is building military bases near China to squeeze its naval capabilities out of the Pacific if a regional conflict were to break out, the New York Times (NYT) has reported, citing anonymous Chinese military strategists.

“The US efforts are aimed at keeping China’s naval forces behind the ‘first island chain’ — islands close to mainland Asia that run from Okinawa in Japan to Taiwan to the Philippines,” the reports read.

The existing US-Philippines military agreements play a particular role in the plan. The Pentagon, having gained access to multiple airfields and naval bases in the Philippines, now has less need “for aircraft carriers that could be targeted by China’s long-range missiles and submarines in a time of war.”AnalysisSoutheast Asia on Course to Ukraine-Style Crisis Amid US Militarization of Philippines22 April, 17:24 GMT

The report claims that Japan’s armed forces will receive some 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles, with its most advanced models able to attack ships and land targets over 1,150 miles (1,850 km) away.

The US Navy has also deployed a new Marine Corps regiment on Okinawa, which is “designed to fight from small islands and destroy ships at sea.”The Biden administration’s military initiative has faced criticism, with some arguing that the country should rather retain its major capabilities for domestic needs.Likewise, critics argue that transferring such major forces hinders the country’s manufacturing as the US “is not producing new ships and weapons systems quickly enough to deter China, which is rapidly growing its military.”AsiaExpansive US-Philippines War Games Slammed by China as Tension-Stoking & Muscle-Flexing22 April, 12:13 GMTCommenting on the US-China balance of forces, the incoming commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command noted that US lags behind China when it comes to military production.“But our trajectory is still not a trajectory that matches our adversary. Our adversaries are building more capability and they’re building more warships — per year — than we are,” Adm. Samuel J. Paparo Jr. told the NYT.

Tensions between the US and China soared in August 2022 after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan despite Beijing's warnings against the visit. Beijing condemned Pelosi's trip, which it regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military drills in the vicinity of the island.

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