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.

  • milkjug
    link
    English
    29 months ago

    I expect any actual progress in this matter to feature heavily in a forceful response by the Chinese. If you follow geopolitics, China will be effectively hemmed in by Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Their Navy, merchant vessels and trade routes will be under significant existential treat. My bet is that this will strengthen their resolve to take Taiwan by force to ensure that shipping lanes remain open. Otherwise, I wouldn’t put it past them to form a formal alliance with Russia and North Korea to secure a northern breakout.