Chinese Embassy: US securing its dominance and interests through EDCA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 12) – The Chinese Embassy on Sunday said the expansion of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the Philippines would only serve to secure the dominance and geopolitical interests of the United States.

“Peace and development remain the theme of this era and the call of peoples around the world. However, the US, to secure its hegemony and selfish geopolitical interests and out of the cold-war mentality, keeps upgrading military cooperation with the Philippines by adding EDCA bases and military deployment in this country,” the Chinese Embassy said in a statement.

It was the embassy’s response to US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson’s assertion in an interview that the EDCA would bolster the defense capabilities and economies of host provinces.

The expanded EDCA allows the US to indefinitely station troops at four new military camps around the country. Cagayan, Isabela, Zambales, and Palawan were the initially proposed sites.

The governors of Cagayan and Isabela earlier said they were against the establishment of troop camps in their provinces, although the Department of National Defense has yet to name the final sites.


PH, US agree to boost American military presence, create 4 new EDCA sites

Cagayan, Isabela governors not keen on hosting EDCA sites

The embassy said the EDCA expansion was a guise for the US to gain a tactical advantage over China. The four earlier proposed sites face China, Taiwan, and the Korean Peninsula.

“The US claims that such cooperation is intended to help the disaster relief efforts of the Philippines and some Americans even tout the EDCA sites as driver of local economy, it is plain and simple that those moves are part of the US efforts to encircle and contain China through its military alliance with this country,” it added.

The EDCA was inked in 2014 to allow the US to aid the Philippines in humanitarian crises and disaster response.

The Chinese Embassy also reiterated that increased US military presence would cause tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, and “harm Philippine national interests, and endanger regional peace and stability.”

READ: 'Endangering peace': China warns PH over EDCA expansion plans with US

“On the South China Sea issue, there is no problem of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. When talking about free and open waterways, what the US has in its mind is actually the freedom of rampage of its warships in the South China Sea,” the Chinese Embassy said.

Manila and Washington may begin joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea this year amid Chinese aggression towards Filipino vessels in the disputed waters.