The US-China confrontation: new alliances and changes in the marines

The US military seeks to increase its access to bases in the Philippines to compete with China. This move would give the US armed forces a strategic position on the southeastern tip of the South China Sea, just over 300km south of Taiwan. The US military presence in the Philippines is subject to the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), signed in 2014, which allows the US to rotate troops at specific bases and build facilities for use by both countries.

In a rivalry with China, the US  will collaborate with India on military equipment, semiconductors and artificial intelligence. The US wants to deploy more mobile phone networks in Asia to counter Chinese technology, take on more Indian technology specialists (including chips) and encourage companies from both countries to collaborate on developing and producing military equipment. The initiative also includes joint work on space technology and quantum computing.

Force Design 2030 is a plan to adapt the United States Marine Corps Marines to a potential conflict with China in the Indo-Pacific region. The Marines are to be ready to fight in dispersed operations on island chains. The units, although smaller, will have greater strike power thanks to new weapons systems. The new rules are already being introduced to Marine units stationed in Okinawa. The changes are facing criticism from former Corps commanders, unhappy especially with the abandonment of all tanks and several helicopter squadrons.

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