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New EDCA sites will be used vs. China ops around Taiwan, says think-tank

The designation of new EDCA sites—additional Philippine military facilities which may be accessed by US forces—is seen as a provocation to China, an expert from a think-tank has said.

According to Chino Gaston's report on "24 Oras", Prof. Hu Bo of the SCS Strategic Situation Probing Initiative said the new sites "definitely will be used against China's operations around Taiwan."

"The Philippines may be passive but involved in the Taiwan issue... That a big thing for China," Hu said.

Filipino experts disagreed saying the EDCA sites were for defense.

"That's a calculated risk we have to take. The other option for us to take if we don't prepare is the possibility of a Chinese invasion because China will take control of Northern Luzon when push comes to shove over Taiwan," said Prof. Renato de Castro, a security analyst with ADR Stratbase.

"We are being deterred by the adversary we are defending against," Prof. Jay Batongbacal said.

"We might as well just dismantle the Armed Forces and turn the entire AFP into the PNP. It's like we are going to be afraid of defending ourselves from external threats," Batongbacal said. —NB, GMA Integrated News