WORLD Filipinos speak out against US military expansion plans


Filipinos speak out against US military expansion plans


13:31, February 03, 2023

Two U.S. Marines V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircrafts participate in a landing exercise as part of the Philippines-U.S. Balikatan 2019 in Zambales Province, the Philippines, April 11, 2019. (File photo: Xinhua)

MANILA, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Filipinos have spoken out against American military expansion plans in their country following a top U.S. defense official's visit to the Southeast Asian country this week.

"That is not part of our national interest. Our national interest is to become an economically prosperous country. And we can only do that if we can have peace in the country and peace in the region," said Anna Malindog-Uy, vice president of the Manila-based think tank Asian Century Philippines Strategic Studies Institute.

She warned that the United States is seeking to widen its military presence in the Philippines and expand access to the country's military facilities.

On Thursday, protesters gathered outside the military headquarters in the Philippine capital, where U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Philippine counterpart, Carlito Galvez, calling for an end to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, a military agreement between Washington and Manila allowing U.S. access to Philippine military bases.

"They would want to use my country to preserve their hegemony in Asia," the scholar on international relations told Xinhua, urging her government to "exercise extreme caution and prudence."

"Our country and our survival as a nation will be threatened to a greater extent. It's not for the Philippines," Malindog-Uy said. "It's more for American military activities."

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