Washington and Manila have reached tentative agreements to give the U.S. military expanded access to several bases in the Philippines, The Washington Post reported.
According to the publication, the U.S. military is expected to get expanded access to key bases in the Philippines.
The article cites the assessments of analysts according to which this step may provide the US forces with the strategic position for implementation of operations in case of conflict in Taiwan or South China Sea. The publication stresses that Washington's actions are aimed at strengthening U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific region, strengthening alliances and deterring China.
According to the publication, over the past few months, the U.S. side considered several sites in the Philippines and chose at least two of them. It is expected that the said arrangements could be announced as early as this week at a meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Philippine counterpart Carlito Galvez and with the country's President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The publication specifies that these talks are still underway. They were attended by Jake Sullivan, assistant to the U.S. president for national security. The two sides are also expected to agree on issues relating to cooperation on security issues.
The newspaper states that at present, the U.S. can use five military bases in the Philippines. According to agreements already in place, the U.S. military can be stationed at the agreed sites on a rotational basis.