Manila/ Beijing: The Philippines has taken an aggressive stance against China’s ongoing intrusion and oppression in the South China Sea. A few days ago, the Philippines deployed ‘floating markers’ (BIOS) near the Spratly Islands. After that, in a meeting with Vietnam, both countries decided to speed up the movement for the ‘Code of Conduct’ in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, during the visit of the Foreign Minister of Australia, it was revealed that a consensus was reached on the issue of purchasing surveillance drones and other technologies as well as a joint patrolling mission. Against this background, the Chief of Army Staff of the Philippines visited the Balabac Airfield near the Spratly Islands.
Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in hegemonic activities by China in the South China Sea. The island groups in this region have been militarised and defence forces have been largely deployed on them. At the same time, the Navy, Coast Guard and the ‘militia’ developed by China have been continuously invading the maritime boundaries of other countries. The countries that counter China’s intrusion are being openly threatened and the demands of these countries are being dismissed. Southeast Asian countries have taken an aggressive stance against China’s bullying and oppression, and the Philippines is leading in this aspect.
In February, the President of the Philippines visited Japan. During this visit, the two countries reached a consensus on increasing strategic cooperation. At the same time, the issue of Taiwan was also discussed. After that, Philippine President Marcos Jr. warned that the Philippines would not allow any other country to occupy even an inch of its territory. In March, the Philippines signed an agreement with the United States and decided to allow the United States to use its four military bases. In April, the Philippines foiled an intrusion attempt by a Chinese Coast Guard ship.
After that, the Philippines started taking fast steps on the issue of the ‘Spratly’ group of islands, which China now claims. The ‘BIOS’ deployed in this area a few days ago and the subsequent visit by the Chief of Army Staff to the nearby islands can be seen as part of this. On the other hand, the Philippines has also been active in curbing China along with other countries in Southeast Asia. The two-day meeting with Vietnam and the consensus reached on various points confirm it.
On the other hand, the Philippines is also trying to respond to China by increasing its cooperation with the US, Japan, and Australia. For this, the decision to purchase surveillance drones and other defence technology from Australia was taken during the visit of Foreign Minister Penny Wong. Sources have claimed that the Philippines has also taken a positive stance on the issue of conducting joint patrols in the South China Sea area with Australia.