News / Asia

    Philippines May Offer US Naval Base on Western Palawan Island

    US and Philippine marines storm the beach as they simulate an amphibious landing during the joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, at the Naval Training Exercise Command, a former U.S. naval base, at San Antonio township, Zambales province, northwest of Manila, Philippines, May 9, 2014.
    US and Philippine marines storm the beach as they simulate an amphibious landing during the joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, at the Naval Training Exercise Command, a former U.S. naval base, at San Antonio township, Zambales province, northwest of Manila, Philippines, May 9, 2014.
    Reuters
    The Philippines, aiming to boost its ability to defend offshore areas, wants to ensure U.S. warships are closer to the disputed South China Sea by offering the United States an underdeveloped naval base on a western island, its military chief has said.
     
    China has stepped up its activities to assert its extensive claim over the energy-rich South China Sea.

     
    Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
    x
    Click to enlarge
    Click to enlarge
    Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims over the sea, or parts of it, through which about $5 trillion of ship-borne goods pass every year.
     
    Last month, the Philippines and the United States signed an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) allowing U.S. forces wider access to Philippine bases and building facilities for joint use in maritime security and disaster response.
     
    “Oyster Bay is still underdeveloped but we need to improve it for our armed forces,” armed forces chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista said in a television interview late on Wednesday, referring to a base on Palawan island to the west of main Philippine islands.
     
    “Perhaps with the EDCA that can be facilitated and further improvement in Oyster Bay will be made.”
     
    Bautista said he was hoping the U.S. would help pay for the development of the base, where the Philippines has begun work, and help develop it into a major operating base for both navies.
     
    Oyster Bay is only 160 km (100 miles) from the disputed Spratly islands, where China has been reclaiming a reef known as Johnson South Reef, and building what appears to be an airstrip on it.
     
    The Philippine foreign ministry released on Thursday aerial surveillance photographs of the reef showing some work had been done.
     
    In October, the Philippine navy commander on Palawan told Reuters the force had a plan to convert Oyster Bay into a “mini-Subic” where the country's two former U.S. Coast Guard cutters would be based.
     
    Subic Bay is a former U.S. naval base which is now a commercial free port, where U.S. warships dock because of its deep harbor. There are plans to convert parts of the free port into an air and naval base.
     
    Bautista said the Philippines was also offering the United States the use of a base in the Zambales area and an army jungle training base in Fort Magsaysay in the Nueva Ecija area.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Tom Murphy from: Northern Virginia
    May 21, 2014 11:38 PM
    Typhoons and ocean waves do terrible things in the stormy waters around the Spratly Islands. I'll bet they could even loosen the bolts holding together that Chinese oil rig. Ships can run aground or sink quickly. Waves can sweep over airfields and wreck aircraft.

    by: Paul Chabot from: Folsom, CA
    May 21, 2014 5:15 PM
    Like it or not, because of our former administration of the islands we have a responsibility to help defend the Phillipines. They didn't want bases that were virtual US mini-states on their land any longer but they never disavowed our defense treaty. Not saying it was a smart decision. I don't think it is a coincidence that Asia's two most prosperous countries both host large US military facilities.

    by: Bob-X from: WA
    May 21, 2014 12:26 AM
    Chinese Lie.
    The Chinese people are so used to their Gov't, (and News) lying about everything, they will just lie to people walking down the street, for no reason. i.e. Q "is that sore open" A "no, it closed" truth: yes store is open.
    Chinese don't even trust each-other.
    Also, the Gov't is anxious to exorcise the power that their newfound economic wealth has brought them.

    by: Punnisher from: Florida
    May 20, 2014 9:48 AM
    During the Vietnam war I spent a fair amount of time in the Philippines , in Subic at the MAU camp and had lots of contact with Phillipinos and I can tell you without any doubt whatsoever that the relationship between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines is Rock Solid. We love them and they love us .I spent many hours working with the Phillipino Marines in the Jungle and learned quite a bit from them .

    Also I have to say it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with pristine white sand beaches. The Phillipino culture is one of very much kindness and acceptance of all good people and I personally , although I am no longer a young man , would come to their defense in a New York minute. I absolutely support the continued relationship of our two countries and believe that the misunderstandings surrounding military bases in the past were trivial and did not fully grasp the necessity of our union , hopefully we have learned from our mistakes.

    by: james from: somewhere
    May 17, 2014 8:30 PM
    Like to point out 2 things
    1. Not everyone agrees in a specific issue. In this case US coming back to manila. This is a democratic country which i definitely know the US can also state the fact that they also have these issues.
    Question: Does Philippines hate US?
    Answer: No. We welcome them open arms.(check Obama's visit). Our constitution, education, language , our streets, Music and even some of our structures are influenced by US. How can we hate them if we see them as allies and a big brother. We can't fight China alone and we dont want their type of 1 party system in the first place. We want freedom which US supports turning philippines into a democratic and tolerant nation.

    Questions: Why do some filipinos protest against US
    Answer: During the 1940's-50's communism starts to crawl in the Philippines. So these people who protest are the son's and daughters of these fascist. 100 people doesnt reflect 70 Million population.

    Summary: We hate chinese ideology. We love US culture more. We need help against these bullies. We respect international law. We tell China, go to the international court if you believe your claim. What do they respond to that civil approach? Spraying us with water cannon. Why? because they know they will lose the battle in the international court.

    So, to the americans. I hope now you see the whole picture. We need your help to protect Democracy and freedom And frankly speaking, We cant fight it against a huge country like China.


    by: Fed up from: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    May 17, 2014 7:10 AM
    Oh yes, let the USA pay for it. And while we're at it, let US men and women die to protect the world. Then, when our "friends" don't need us anymore, be sure to criticize us for every evil they can dream up and demand out money and resources be left behind when they reclaim bases, equipment, etc. We have seen all this before and we have to be idiots to keep this up. Let's take care of ourselves and let out so-called "friends" do the same. Stop being a sucker for an ungrateful and ignorant world.

    by: Kris Thorn from: US
    May 17, 2014 3:38 AM
    F posters said why there was no Chinese people on the islands etc.
    France, Japan and UK's mid Pacific islands have any population.
    80 years before Christopher can to America, China's Chenghe has already travelled to west to Africa and Arabic sea and down south to Indonesia, Brunei with 200,000 troops in more than 200 3-decker ships, 7 times over 20 years period, but they were so stupid as not to colonize the places where they went. Otherwise, today's map of nations will be totally different.

    by: Bhalanee from: USA
    May 17, 2014 3:32 AM
    F posters said why there was no Chinese people on the islands etc.
    France, Japan and UK's mid Pacific islands have any population.
    80 years before Christopher can to America, China's Chenghe has already travelled to west to Africa and Arabic sea and down south to Indonesia, Brunei with 200,000 troops in more than 200 3-decker ships, 7 times over 20 years period, but they were so stupid as not to colonize the places where they went. Otherwise, today's map of nations will be totally different.

    by: Dino from: U.S
    May 17, 2014 1:23 AM
    To all Flipino commenters here, your old maps - those before the news of oil and gas deposit in Spratly island - don't include Spratlys, and you Flips didn't even know the existence of these islands.
    When the news broke out that that region is rich in oil and gas, Philippines jump off their bed and claimed it as theirs.

    These chain of islands has been discovered by Chinese merchants even before Magellan discovered Philippines that put it under Spain's authority.

    Why there are no Chinese living in Spratly's? Who will live in atoll or small islets? I ask you too, why are there no Filipinos living in Spratly's if you consider it as yours?

    by: Dino from: earth
    May 17, 2014 1:10 AM
    The action of U.S, pivot to Asia is a clear sign of containing China. Only stupid people don't realize this.

    I can't blame China for securing islands it considers hers with this regard.

    No one else to blame but U.S and Philippines, their action of stationing U.S forces in Philippines , by some measures, is provocative to China,There's no reason for U.S forces to station there if not for China
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.