The Philippines has supported a new defense partnership between the United States, Britain, and Australia, in the hopes of sustaining the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region.
The alliance, known as AUKUS, agreed to back Australia’s technology to release nuclear-powered submarines to counter China’s dominance in the region.
Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin released a statement that said, “The enhancement of a near-abroad ally’s ability to project power should restore and keep the balance rather than destabilize it.”
Locsin’s statement further said that without utilizing nuclear weapons, AUKUS would not breach the 1995 Bangkok Treaty which keeps Southeast Asia as a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.
Tensions have grown in the South China Sea with China claiming its stake in the area. Countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam have been affected by Beijing’s fishing fleet harassment. The Philippines is also concerned with China’s continuous militarization within the archipelago’s exclusive economic zone.
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