The US military will be allowed to operate “without restrictions” from military bases in Papua New Guinea, under a security pact that is part of Washington’s efforts to counter China’s influence in the Pacific and stay close to North Korea.
The text of the agreement was submitted on Wednesday, June 14 before Details of the agreement, which have been kept secret since it was signed in May, were revealed by Papua New Guinea’s parliament.
The agreement stipulates that the United States can deploy troops and ships at the country’s main airports, as well as at the Manus Island naval base or at the port of the capital, Port Moresby.
The North American country will have “unrestricted access” to these places to place “equipment, supplies and materials” and will have “exclusive use” of some areas of these bases where “construction activities” can be carried out.
Rich in natural resources, close to important maritime trade routes and a strategic location for countries such as China and North Korea, Papua New Guinea is seen at the heart of the struggle between Washington and Beijing for influence in the Pacific.
The Asian country that challenges China: “An armed attack on our army calls for the defense of the United States”
Countries allied with the United States are asking for its assistance in case they are attacked militarily by the Xi Jinping government.
Specifically in a meeting that the President of the United States, Joe Biden, had with his Philippine counterpart, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., also known as Bong Bong Marcos, the “iron” alliance between the two countries was confirmed, to the point where they warned that if an attack on the AFP happens that The American defense will be unleashed.
“An armed attack against the Armed Forces of the Philippines, ships or aircraft in the Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea, would invoke the United States’ mutual defense obligations under the 1951 United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” it says. The statement, which was jointly published by the two governments.
In this sense, Biden and Marcos stressed their “firm commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea,” as well as “the importance of respecting the sovereign rights of states within their exclusive economic zones in accordance with international law.” . This, in reference to recent tensions in the region over Chinese warships’ reprimands against Filipino fishermen.
They also agreed on “the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, as an indispensable component of global security and prosperity.” They expressed support for Ukraine, in the context of the Russian invasion, affirming its “independence and territorial integrity” within its “internationally recognized borders”.
This meeting comes in the midst of tense relations with Beijing over control of the waters of the South China Sea and the American presence, as Manila agreed to provide four new military bases to Washington.
The bases, in implementing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), are intended to build facilities for the storage and supply of equipment, which the Philippine president had to note that the Philippines “will not be used as a base for military actions” in order to “attack China.”
With information from AFP and Europa Press
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