China Geopolitical Watch – From 4 February to 10 February 2023

Watch contributors: Thomas Taochy, Protasius Isyudanto, Marie Corcelle, Anna Balawender (coordinator)


05/02/2023: The US military expands access to bases in the Philippines -Thomas Taochy-

The US announced on February 5 the ratification of an agreement giving it greater access to 9 military bases in the Philippines, according to SCMP. This decision is believed to have been taken to contain Chinese expansion in the Pacific, affecting China’s defensive positions in the first island chain, stretching from Japan to the Malay Peninsula.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told CNN: «Our alliance makes our democracies more secure and helps maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific». The Chinese embassy in the Philippines reacted to this new agreement and denounced «the United States, [who] out of self-interest […] continues to strengthen its military posture in this region. Their actions aggravate regional tensions and undermine regional peace and stability».

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