U.S. continues to goad China in South China Sea dispute with second military ship given to the Philippines
By End the Lie
The United States will reportedly hand over the second Coast Guard cutter to the Philippines, a move which will undoubtedly raise the stakes in the South China Sea dispute and raise some understandable concerns in China.
This is being done to supposedly improve Filipino maritime security “in light of heightened tension in the South China Sea, a congressional hearing was told,” according to the Philippine Star.
A House of Representatives Foreign Affairs hearing on relations between the United States and the Philippines was told by Republican Representative Ed Royce that the congressional review process for transferring the ship will conclude this week.
Royce said that the vessel, a Coast Guard cutter named “Dallas,” should be on the way to Manila soon, while another Coast Guard cutter, the Hamilton, was already transferred to the Philippines as I previously mentioned in the first installment of the “U.S. and NATO are on the march worldwide” series.
The United States has been making a concerted effort to arm and train the Philippines’ military forces in order to build up the opposition to the Chinese in the South China Sea.
Through the course of my analysis, I have come to the conclusion that it is likely the case that the United States is trying to goad China into taking some kind of offensive action in the South China Sea, just as the U.S. is doing in the case of Iran.
Royce said that while the Philippines has largely been ignored when it comes to American foreign policy for some time, this is beginning to change quite a bit. I believe that this is very likely due to the South China Sea dispute and the deciding role that the Philippines could play.
Royce is quite right that American-Filipino relations have largely been put on the back burner as this was the first congressional hearing focused only on said relations in some time.
The United States has no territorial claims in the region, something which China consistently points to as proof that the U.S. has no place in the dispute, although Kurt Campbell, the top American diplomat for East Asia claims that America has a national interest in the region.
Campbell claims that the U.S. has a vested interest in the peaceful resolution of the dispute and the freedom of navigation in the region which is critical for world trade.
However, it is also quite obvious that the U.S. is making an effort to counterbalance the Chinese presence in the region as a part of the West’s greater containment effort.
The Dallas, which is somewhat old having been commissioned in 1967, was given to the Philippines under the auspices of a program which transfers “excess defense articles” to foreign partners in order to support U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.
It appears that the Dallas and the Hamilton will not be the end of the American arming of the Philippines.
“In the coming months, we hope to transfer a second Coast Guard cutter to the Philippines, as well as support other improvements in its surveillance and detection capabilities,” Campbell stated.
“We are making sure that our collective defense capabilities and communications infrastructure are operationally and materially capable of deterring provocation from the full spectrum of state and non-state actors,” he added.
United States Representative Dana Rohrabacher, someone who the Philippine Star characterizes as “an arch critic of China” also highlighted the U.S.’s role in equipping and training Filipino forces in the southern Philippines, supposedly to fight Islamic militants.
While American officials are quick to praise the efforts, officials from the Philippines seem similarly pleased.
Colonel Arnulfo Burgos Jr., the spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said that the support of American legislators would help give a boost to the AFP’s capability to fulfill its mission.
I think this is an important development to make note of because of the greater worldwide encirclement effort of Russia, China and any other nation which does not play ball like North Korea, Syria and Iran.
To get more information on this encirclement, please take a few moments to explore my series entitled, “U.S. and NATO are on the march worldwide”. Keep in mind this latest development is just a tiny piece in a much larger puzzle.