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Home Statement US Vice President Kamala Harris visit is in pursuit of America’s imperialist agenda in the Philippines and Asia Pacific

US Vice President Kamala Harris visit is in pursuit of America’s imperialist agenda in the Philippines and Asia Pacific

US Vice President Kamala Harris visit is in pursuit of America’s imperialist agenda in the Philippines and Asia Pacific
US Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to the Philippines to meet with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other officials builds on US Pres. Joe Biden's efforts to strengthen America's hold on the Asia Pacific region.

BAYAN || November 18, 2022
Basahin sa Tagalog:  https://rb.gy/ozhg8g

US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the Philippines to meet with Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other Philippine officials builds on US Pres. Joe Biden’s ongoing efforts to strengthen America’s hold on the Asia Pacific region at the height of its great power competition with China.

Topping the agenda are security arrangements under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), a visit to Palawan to show token support for the Philippines’ claim over the West Philippine Sea, as well as strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries.

It is clear that the US renewed promotion of global trade in APEC is coupled with increased regional militarization. The US is building up the theater of war in the region via intensified, large-scale combat exercises and the deployment of military forces and ships.

In the midst of a deepening economic crisis, the US is advancing its imperialist interests, particularly in relation to its heightening competition with China. It is no secret that the cultivation of closer ties with Asian governments is a priority of Pres. Joe Biden in his determination to foil China’s rise as an imperialist rival.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) has begun dispersing US marine and army units along the first island chain running from Japan through Southeast Asia in order to contain China and counter its naval and missile advantages in its near waters. Thus the strategic importance of the Philippines not only in geographic terms but also in terms of its having standing military agreements with the US, namely, the RP-US Mutual  Defense Treaty (MDT), Visiting  Forces Agreement (VFA), Enhanced  Defense  Cooperation  Agreement (EDCA), and Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA).

In particular, EDCA allows the US military to preposition troops, weapons and vehicles in the Philippines in its bid to encircle China. This effectively drags the Philippines into a brewing armed conflict between the two contending imperialist powers. Thus, it is not in our national interest to host EDCA’s quasi-bases.

In exchange for this critical access, the US will provide $100 million in military aid which the Philippine government will most likely use for counter-insurgency and counter-terror operations against our own people. This translates to more bombs and bullets rained on civilian populations.

Over a decade ago, the US announced its “pivot to Asia” with promises of a balanced economic, diplomatic and security framework. Unfortunately, this had nothing to do with human and economic development. On the contrary, economic cooperation under the aegis of neoliberalism has meant  the opening up of Asian economies for imperialist plunder of resources including land, sea and skilled labor.

The pivot to Asia has also largely been about US globalized militarism in the form of the so-called  “war on terror.” In recent years and under one of the most rapacious fascist  puppets of US imperialism – Pres. Rodrigo Duerte – this war targeted ordinary citizens who dared to oppose his brutal regime. Anti-terrorist legislation pushed by the US since the 9-11 attacks now allows the current Marcos 2.0 regime to rely on the draconian Anti Terrorism Act of 2020 to violate human rights and civil liberties in the name of national security.

The US rebalance and frequent “diplomatic visits” of US officials to the Philippines aims to secure America’s strategic economic and military interests in the region. We should not be a willing and subservient party to this great power conflict. Our national security should not depend on a military infrastructure and foreign policy designed to support wars of aggression and intervention, proxy wars and US-backed low intensity conflict counterinsurgency campaigns.#