US and Philippine defense secretaries discuss military alliance amid China-Taiwan tensions


Senior US and Philippine defense officials have pledged to step up military cooperation to address regional challenges amid rising tensions between China and Taiwan.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Philippine Defense Secretary Jose Faustino in Hawaii on Friday to discuss strengthening the US-Philippines mutual defense treaty and improving maritime cooperation.

“By deepening cooperation and modernizing our alliance, we can secure the future of the Philippines, address regional challenges, and promote peace and security in the Indo-Pacific. joint press conference.

Defense and security engagement remains “a key pillar of the Philippine-US bilateral relationship,” Faustino said, thanking Washington for its willingness to work with the Philippines as an “equal sovereign partner.” I made a point.

Faustino said Taiwan’s more than 130,000 Filipino workers could be at risk if Taiwan were attacked, so the Philippines has been forced to participate in ongoing military exercises by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) near Taiwan. said he was concerned about

“While the Philippines remains committed to the one-China policy, we must urge all parties to exercise restraint and prioritize diplomacy and dialogue,” he said.

Faustino said the Philippines will continue to update and enhance its contingency plans to ensure the safety of Filipinos living in Taiwan.

China increased its military exercises around Taiwan after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August. The Chinese Communist Party claims Taiwan as part of its territory and promises to conquer it by force if necessary.

The Philippines has previously said it would allow US forces to access military bases during the Taiwan conflict if deemed “important” to Philippine security.

Any attack on Taiwan could threaten the security of the Philippines due to its proximity to Taiwan, which shares a border off the Luzon Strait.

‘Precarious’ situation in the South China Sea

Faustino said the government will continue to engage in diplomatic relations with China to address the “unsettled situation” in the South China Sea and cited territorial disputes as “the Philippines’ greatest security concern.”

“We will continue to engage with like-minded countries to ensure that the rule of law and rules-based international order prevails in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea,” he added.

China has increased its influence in the South China Sea through artificial islands and military buildup. The CCP, despite competing with other countries, claims much of the South China Sea lies below the so-called “nine-dash line.”

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has vowed to uphold the 2016 Hague ruling in favor of the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute, vowing not to allow China to encroach “one square millimeter of our maritime shores.” Stated.

With the exception of the Philippines and China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have their own overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

Aldogra Fredry


Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.