US-Philippines deal won’t stop China in disputed sea – analyst


MANILA, Philippines — The new defense cooperation agreement between the Philippines and the United States will not deter China from conducting activities in the West Philippine Sea, an international security analyst said.

Rommel Banlaoi, chief of the Center for Intelligence and National Security Studies, said in a phone interview with on Tuesday that China may step up its activities in the disputed waters with Manila and Washington about to complete a deal allowing the rotational presence of American troops in Philippine soil.

Banlaoi explained that while China will not send naval or military vessels in the maritime region claimed by the Philippines, it may find the need to boost its civilian presence in the area using coast guard ships.

“China considers the deal provocative,” Banlaoi said, adding that Manila’s move to invite a third party power amid the tension can be seen as controversial.

China has already said that the US does not and should not have a role in the sea row with the Philippines.


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