US dragging PH into China-Taiwan dispute? Chinese embassy questions EDCA locations
MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese Embassy to the Philippines on Sunday questioned the location of additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites in the country, claiming that it may be just the US’ move to drag the Philippines into China’s dispute with Taiwan.
While Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. has yet to divulge the exact location of the four new EDCA sites, military officials have previously identified Zambales, Cagayan, Isabela, and Palawan as possible areas.
READ: Military names 5 more Edca sites
“If the new sites are located in Cagayan and Isabela, which are close to Taiwan, does the U.S. really intend to help the Philippines in disaster relief with these EDCA sites? And is it really in the national interest of the Philippines to get dragged by the US to interfere in the Taiwan question?” the embassy said.
The statement was made in response to US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson’s remarks on EDCA, who explained that the EDCA sites would help provincial and local authorities enhance their ability to defend themselves, as well as grow their economy.
The Chinese Embassy, however, continued to accuse the US of attempting to contain China through a military alliance with the Philippines, further reiterating that the said cooperation would endanger regional peace and stability.
READ: PH, US military cooperation to ‘seriously endanger regional peace, stability’ — China
The Chinese Embassy also stressed that freedom of navigation has been retained in the South China Sea, contrary to the US’ claim.
READ: US eyes allocating $70 million for EDCA sites, arms in PH
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