PH, US military cooperation to ‘seriously endanger regional peace, stability’ — China
MANILA, Philippines — Military cooperation between the Philippines and the United States (US) will “seriously endanger regional peace and stability,” the Chinese Embassy in Manila said on Friday.
The embassy issued the statement after US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland visited the Philippines and said that four additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) sites will bring economic opportunities and jobs to Manila.
“Creating economic opportunities and jobs through military cooperation is tantamount to quenching thirst with poison and gouging flesh to heal wounds. Such cooperation will seriously endanger regional peace and stability and drag the Philippines into the abyss of geopolitical strife and damage its economic development at the end of the day,” the Chinese embassy said.
“We hope that the Philippine people can tell the selfish interests and zero-sum mentality of the United States to provoke a new cold war in this region,” it went on. “History will judge who is the reliable partner of the Philippines for mutual assistance and common development, and who is a passer-by that instigates and fans discordance in this region.”
China likewise was irked by US’ “discrediting” of cooperation between Beijing and Manila.
Nuland earlier asked whether China’s promises generated employment in the Philippines.
The Chinese embassy said: “Economy and trade cannot flourish without a peaceful and stable regional environment. However, some Americans claim that the four additional military sites in the Philippines to which US forces would have access under the EDCA would bring ‘economic opportunities, jobs’ to their host communities, and discredit China-Philippines economic cooperation at the same time.”
“Such remarks are in total ignorance of the Philippine people’s pursuit of peace, cooperation, and development as well as China-Philippines helping each other in developing economy, improving people’s livelihood, and increasing employment,” it continued.
China noted that about 40 government-to-government cooperation projects have been accomplished or are in progress in the Philippines.
It further said that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s state visit to China resulted in 14 intergovernmental cooperation deals.
Citing Philippine data, China said that Manila and Beijing signed deals of intention of investment and trade amounting to $22.8 billion and procurement plans worth almost $2.1 billion.
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