As tensions between Taiwan and China heat up, the Philippines has said that it would allow US forces to use its military bases in case of war against China.
Jose Manuel Romualdez, Philippines’ ambassador to the US, said with the caveat: “if it is important for us, for our own security.” Romualdez is related to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and enjoys a great deal of influence in Manila.
His statement indicates Manila’s stance despite assuming a relatively neutral position on the matter of Taiwan. “Nobody wants to have any kind of war or confrontation. We want to ask both countries to lessen the tension by having more dialogue and then trying to resolve all of these issues because it’s in our part of the world,” Romualdez added.
The ambassador also said that Manila is in discussions with the US to expand the number of military bases that US forces can use in the Philippines.
“Our military and the military of the United States are all looking into what are the possible areas,”
Romualdez’s sentiments come on the heels of the Biden administration’s announcement of a more than $1 billion sale of arms to Taiwan, a deal China was disappointed with. Additionally, last week, two American frigates sailed through the Taiwan Strait, a move seen as a provocation to Beijing.
China has repeatedly warned the US to distance itself from Taiwan and avoid meddling in the ‘One China policy.
Earlier this month, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in a move that increased tensions between the US and China.
Before her tour, Hu Xijin, a commentator with the Chinese-state-owned Global Times, wrote, “If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is [an] invasion. The [People’s Liberation Army] has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making the tactical movement of obstruction.”
“If ineffective, then shoot them down,” Hu added, according to the New York Post.
Twitter blocked his account, and he subsequently removed the tweet but continued tweeting about Pelosi. One tweet included a map showing the route of Pelosi’s trip.