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PHL should seek defense production treaties with its allies – security analyst



PHL should seek defense production treaties with its allies – security analyst

By means of John Victor D. Ordoñez, News reporter

The Philippines should seek greater defense partnerships with its global allies amid increasing aggression by the Chinese coast guard in areas of the South China Sea well within Manila’s exclusive economic zone, security analysts said over the weekend.

“Manila must leverage its partnerships to enhance its national manufacturing capabilities in key industries and motivate partners to engage in technology transfers beyond the buyer-seller framework,” said Don Mclain Gill, who teaches international relations at the De La Salle University, in a Facebook Messenger. to chat.

Last week, the Philippines summoned the Chinese envoy to protest the coast guard’s use of water cannons, which damaged two Manila ships in the South China Sea.

Philippine officials called on China when a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ship and a fishing vessel were damaged after Chinese coast guard ships fired water cannons at them while heading to the disputed Scarborough Shoal to help Filipino fishermen.

“While this internationalization of the maritime security problem may not immediately curb Chinese aggression, it is extremely important for building the Philippines’ long-term security capacity, and for increasing its influence in dealing with Beijing in the future Raymond M. Powell, a fellow at Stanford University’s Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation, said in an X message.

Aaron Jed Rabena, a geopolitics and foreign policy specialist at the University of Philippines Asian Center, said there has been a shift in public sentiment on the Philippine government’s efforts in the South China Sea.

“There has been a shift from resentment toward China to a sense of inadequacy regarding our Coast Guard’s response,” he said in a Facebook Messenger chat. “There is now a cry from the public: if you look at a comment section on news reports about this, most of them would say that the Philippine side must do more and resist.”

Last Tuesday, the PCG said two Chinese Coast Guard vessels had used jet stream water cannons against their vessel some 900 meters away from the Scarborough Shoal, causing damage to the railing and canopy.

The electrical, navigation and radio systems of a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ship were also damaged after being rammed three times by Beijing’s coast guard vessels.

Manila in March summoned Zhou Zhiyong, deputy chief of mission of the Chinese Embassy in Manila, after the Chinese coast guard fired a water cannon at a Philippine supply mission near Second Thomas Shoal, where Manila grounded a World War II ship in 1999 to assert its sovereignty.

Lucio B. Pitlo III, also a research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, said the government of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will likely continue to deepen its security ties with the United States, Australia and Japan. to counter Chinese aggression.

“Manila will likely work with these countries on how to respond to China’s increased assertiveness in the West Philippine Sea,” he said in a Facebook Messenger chat.

The Philippines and the US will hold their annual Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) military exercises until May 18, with 5,000 Filipino soldiers and 11,000 US soldiers participating in the war games. Mr Marcos previously said he was considering involving Japan in the exercises amid rising tensions in the South China Sea.

The Philippine Senate last year passed a bill aimed at boosting the country’s defense program through investments in local defense equipment production, amid tensions with Beijing.

Tensions between the Philippines and China have worsened in the past year as Beijing continues to block supply missions from Manila to Second Thomas Shoal, where it grounded a World War II ship in 1999 to assert its sovereignty.

In 2016, a United Nations-backed tribunal in The Hague invalidated China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea. It also affirmed the rights of small-scale Filipino and Chinese fishermen to fish in Scarborough Shoal.

“Practically, China has shown that it has no incentive to relax its salami-slicing strategy in the South China Sea,” Mr. Gill said.

“While it is difficult to change China’s behavior in the short term, Manila must pay close attention to improving its national capabilities to better position itself in the region in the long term.”