The U.S. military is reportedly in negotiations with the Philippines to build a port on an island close to Taiwan, which would bolster the U.S. presence in a strategic sea lane on Taiwan’s south flank.

According to a Reuters report, the U.S. military is engaged in talks with the Philippines to develop a new civilian port on the Batanes Islands, the northernmost part of the country and less than 200 km away from Taiwan. The port would be situated on the southern edge of the Bashi Channel, a vital waterway for ships traversing between the Western Pacific and the South China Sea.

Batanes Islands Provincial Governor Marilou Cayco told Reuters she had sought investment from the U.S. to build an “alternative port” on the island that would allow cargo from the capital Manila to be unloaded during the rainy monsoon season. Cayco said it is planned that the port will be built on Basco Island, where access to an existing facility is often hampered by large waves. A decision will be made in October.

  • kitonthenet
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    119 months ago

    the U.S. military is engaged in talks with the Philippines to develop a new civilian port on the Batanes Islands

    Talk about clickbait

    But even if it weren’t civilian, is the implication the Philippines can’t rent space for a port for a foreign navy at all? Or is there some demarcation line within their borders that they lose this sovereignty?

    • @MicroWaveOP
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      129 months ago

      Not exactly sure what you’re trying to say. But for those following developments in Southeast Asia, this is a significant shift. Here’s a more nuanced take from Reuters:

      Security officials in Manila said they believed any military conflict in the Taiwan Strait would inevitably affect the Philippines, given its geographic proximity to Taiwan and the presence of over 150,000 Filipinos on the democratically-governed island.

      At the time of the exercise, Cayco said she was seeking investment to build seaports and airports in the island province that is home to 18,000 people. The province could harbour Filipinos fleeing Taiwan if conflict breaks out there and residents have been worried about mounting tensions, according to local government officials.

      The Philippines and China have also clashed in recent months over disputed waters in the South China Sea, with Chinese vessels firing water cannons on a Filipino vessel trying to send supplies to an outpost.

      Cayco said she didn’t have any conversation with the U.S. about EDCA or about radar installations.

      She also said there had not yet been discussions about what access the U.S would have to the proposed port, but troops could use all ports in the area for regular military exercises like the Balikatan.

      Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/us-military-talks-develop-port-philippines-facing-taiwan-2023-08-30/

    • @[email protected]
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      9 months ago

      The Navy doesn’t build military ports, they build bases. Saying it’s a port should signify to the reader that it has civilian uses.