Filtered By: Topstories

China warns PH-US EDCA base deal ‘endangering regional peace’

BEIJING — China warned on Tuesday that Washington was "endangering regional peace and stability" with a new deal expanding American troops' access to bases in the Philippines.

"Out of self-interest, the US maintains a zero-sum mentality and continues to strengthen its military deployment in the region," foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.

"The result will inevitably be increased military tension and endangering regional peace and stability," she added.

"Countries in the region should think deeply about what is appropriate and what is mutually beneficial, so as to make choices that are truly beneficial to their own interests and to regional peace and stability."

The Philippines announced on Monday the locations of four additional military bases to be used by US troops, with one site near the hotly disputed South China Sea and another not far from Taiwan.

The longtime treaty allies agreed in February to expand cooperation in "strategic areas" of the Philippines as they seek to counter Beijing's growing assertiveness over self-governed Taiwan and its construction of bases in the South China Sea.

The 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, known as EDCA, gave US forces access to five Philippine bases and allows them to build facilities, and pre-position equipment, aircraft, and vessels.

It was later expanded to nine, but the locations of the four new bases were withheld until Monday while the government consulted with local officials.

The four sites had been assessed by the Philippine military and deemed "suitable and mutually beneficial," the Presidential Communications Office said in a statement. — Agence France-Presse