Will the US-Philippine defense treaty be abolished and the military alliance come to an end?

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 Will the US-Philippine defense treaty be abolished and the military alliance come to an end?


Source: U.S. President Trump and Philippine President Dutter (Source: Russian Satellite News Agency)

According to Philippine media reports recently, Philippine Defense Minister Lorenzana has instructed defense lawyers to review the US-Philippine Joint Defence Treaty, which could be abolished if the review results show that the treaty is no longer relevant to Philippine national interests.

The US-Philippine Joint Defense Treaty was signed on August 30, 1951, and entered into force on August 27, 1952. Its validity is unlimited. The treaty stipulates that when any party to the treaty is attacked by armed forces, the two parties shall consult and take action to deal with common dangers, The armed attack on any party to the treaty shall include the armed attack on its territory or the territory of the Pacific islands under its jurisdiction, or on its troops, public vessels and aircraft in the Pacific Ocean.

The US-Philippine Joint Defense Treaty, together with the US-Philippine Military Assistance Treaty and the Military Base Agreement, laid the foundation for the US-Philippine defense relations, formed a solid military cooperation relationship between the US and Philippines, and created conditions for the US to intervene in the affairs of the Asia-Pacific region.

Although the aforementioned treaties and agreements have strengthened the defense relationship between the United States and the Philippines, and enabled the Philippines to obtain military protection from the United States, they have also harmed Philippinesinterests to a certain extent, such as the long lease period of bases, the excessive authority of the United States military, and the Philippines being forced into war. Previously, the Philippines sent five battalions to participate in the Korean War in the 1950s, based on its obligations under the US-Philippine Joint Defence Treaty. During the Vietnam War, the Philippines dispatched 2,000 engineers to help the US army fight.

All these have led to calls for the revision of military agreements in the Philippines, proposing to reassess and define US-Philippine military relations, forcing the Philippine government to negotiate with the United States many times and to seek a more balanced relationship with the United States. For example, the Military Base Agreement re-signed by the United States and Philippines in January 1979 stipulates that the Philippines has sovereignty over the base, that Filipinos are commanders of the base, that the area of the base should be reduced, and that the U.S. military should not intervene in the internal conflicts in the Philippines. In 1991, the Philippine Senate vetoed the agreement to extend the US base and garrison in the Philippines, forcing the US to withdraw completely from the Philippines in 1992, and the military-defense relationship between the two sides almost bottomed out. It can be seen that due to historical reasons and the gap in strength, the defense relationship between the United States and the Philippines has the characteristics of asymmetry and inequality, and is vulnerable to the influence of domestic politics in the Philippines, reflecting the complexity of the relationship between the United States and the Philippines.

After Philippine President Dutelt took office, the defense relations between the United States and the Philippines are facing challenges once again. Duttert not only demanded the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Mindanao, but also cancelled the joint cruise between the United States and the Philippines in the South China Sea, and even threatened to terminate the joint military exercises between the United States and the Philippines. At the same time, the Dutter government has strengthened its military relations with Russia and other countries, expressing its intention to import weapons and equipment from these countries and seek diversification of security partners.

According to some analysis, there are serious inequalities in rights and obligations in the defense relations between the United States and the Philippines. Under the framework of the military treaties between the two sides, the United States will tie the Philippines to chariots at any time, thus harming the sovereignty and national interests of the Philippines. The Philippine proposal to review the US-Philippine Joint Defence Treaty means that the rift in the US-Philippine defense relationship is widening. Once the Philippines abolishes the treaty, it will mean the end of the US-Philippine military alliance. At present, the Trump Administrations US Priority policy is tearing up the traditional spiritual ties with European and Asian-Pacific allies, and the Philippines abolition of the treaty is likely to be the first domino to fall, which will not only severely damage the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States, but also bring serious negative effects to the global alliance system of the United States.

(Author: Mu Xiaoming, Author: School of Politics, National Defense University)

Topic: The Review of the US-Philippine Treaty Reflects the Unwelcome US Power Policy

Source: China National Defense Daily

Source: responsible editor of China Military Network: Yao Wenguang_NN1682