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Philippines Bolsters Defense Amid Growing Chinese Aggression

Manila, Philippines — Tensions between the Philippines and China have escalated due to aggressive actions by the Chinese Coast Guard around the disputed Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. In a recent incident, Chinese forces used water cannons against a Philippine supply boat, injuring several crew members and causing significant damage. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. condemned these “dangerous attacks” and pledged “proportionate, deliberate, and reasonable” countermeasures while maintaining that “Filipinos do not yield”​​.

Military Preparedness and Diplomatic Protests

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are ramping up efforts to safeguard their sovereignty. Measures include using faster military vessels for supply missions and improving defense infrastructure in contested waters. Additionally, the government summoned a Chinese embassy official to formally protest the incident, while continuing discussions with international allies regarding mutual defense arrangements​​.

Strengthening Regional Defense Ties

The Philippines has intensified cooperation with allies like the United States, Japan, and Australia. In recent months, the Philippine Coast Guard participated in trilateral drills with the U.S. and Japan, while the Australian Defense Force and U.S. Marines joined in bilateral exercises, demonstrating collective resolve in the region. The U.S. Defense Secretary has reaffirmed the commitment to protect the Philippines under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty​​.

International and Regional Efforts

In addition to reinforcing its own defense, the Philippines has sought support through multilateral platforms. ASEAN and China are working toward a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, but the progress has been slow. President Marcos Jr. expressed frustration with the delays, advocating for a parallel COC with other Southeast Asian nations. Despite Beijing’s accusations that the Philippines is spreading “misinformation,” the Philippine government remains firm in defending its sovereignty and maritime rights according to international law​​.

As the geopolitical situation remains tense, the Philippines continues to assert its rights in the South China Sea, balancing diplomacy with a proactive defense strategy to counter further Chinese aggression.


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