The USA, Australia and Japan vs. China and Russia in the Pacific Basin

Under the Enhanced  Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) of the Philippines with the US, four new military bases will be established in different parts of the Philippines, including the South China Sea Province. The Americans will have a total of nine such locations, responding to China’s growing importance in the region. The EDCA provides the US with access to Philippine bases for joint training, equipment deployment, runway construction, fuel storage and housing for military personnel. However, it is not a permanent military presence. After the US-Australia agreement on the purchase of US  nuclear-powered submarines, Australian authorities stressed that they had not promised the Americans any support in a future conflict over Taiwan. Australia is upgrading its fleet due to growing concerns about China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

China and Cambodia launch first-ever joint naval exercise in Cambodian waters. Cambodia’s relationship with China worries the United States, Australia and Southeast Asian countries. Russia, meanwhile, deployed the K300P  mobile coastal defence system   (Bastion) on the island of Paramushir. It is one of the islands in the northern group of the large Kuril chain of the Kuril Islands. The move strengthens Russian defences in the region and responds to US efforts to “deter” Russia and China. Japan, a close US ally, lays claim to the four southern Kuril Islands, which were seized by the Soviet army at the end of World War II but not to the island of Paramushir.

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