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Philippines Striking Multiple Defense Deals as U.S. Pushes Conflict with China

March 10, 2024 (EIRNS)—Since 2022, the Philippines has inked new defense agreements with the European Union, India and Britain, while Japan, Canada and France are looking at signing visiting-forces agreements as well, which would allow those countries to send troops to Philippine bases, according to their embassies, as the Manila VFA with the U.S. does now.

If adopted, these agreements would give the Philippines one of the most robust security networks in Asia, expanding the global stakes in the rising tensions over the South China Sea, Philippine officials say. “Given that we are the underdog, we leverage our relationships with other countries,” said Jonathan Malaya, assistant director of the country’s National Security Council. “Our network of alliances is critical.”