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

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Leaderless, Rudderless, Britain Drifts

    Experts predicted chaos would follow, if Britain decided to vote for Brexit, and chaos has

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora