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World View: Philippines Agrees to Major Return of U.S. Military to Counter China

World View: Philippines Agrees to Major Return of U.S. Military to Counter China

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Philippines agrees to major return of U.S. military to counter China
  • MERS virus spreads more rapidly in the Mideast

Philippines agrees to major return of U.S. military to counter China

America and the Philippines are about to sign a major agreement topermit a large-scale return of U.S. military forces to bases in thePhilippines. The agreement is part of the larger “pivot to Asia” thatPresident Obama announced in 2011. For the Philippines, it will boostthe 120,000 man Philippine military as China becomes more aggressivein annexing other countries’ territories.

The U.S. has had military bases in the Philippines since the early1900s, following the Spanish-American war, and the bases played acrucial role for America in World War II and the Vietnam war. SubicBay and Clark became America’s largest military bases outside theU.S., but due to a substantial growth of anti-Americanism, TheAmericans were thrown out in 1991. An agreement in 1999 permittedtemporary visits by American forces.

Not all the details have been announced, but this appears to be amajor policy reversal by the Philippines, triggered by China’saggressive actions in the South China Sea. China has already annexedthe Philippines’ rich fishing grounds around the Scarborough Shoal,and has announced its intention to annex by military force territoriesbelonging to all the nations surrounding the South China Sea.

The arrival of a big American military base in the Philippines isunlikely to cause China to back down. To the contrary, it will makethe Chinese public to become even more nationalistic, vengeful andwarlike, and the Chinese military to become even more bellicose andaggressive. The probability of an accident or miscalculationspiraling into a larger war is increasing. Philippine Star and AFP

MERS virus spreads more rapidly in the Mideast

The MERS virus is spreading more rapidly than had been expected.Saudi Arabia has confirmed 26 more cases of MERS-CoV (the MiddleEastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus) in the last week, with 10more deaths. At the same time, Egypt confirmed its first case of MERSin a man who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia.

A recent study shows that the MERS had been common in camels for atleast 20 years, without spreading to humans. It was first diagnosedin Saudi Arabia about two years ago, and it’s suspected that the virusmutated at that time to permit spreading to humans. The fact thatit’s spreading more rapidly may mean that there’s been a furthermutation.

MERS is similar in type to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)that spread across Asia in 2003, infecting 8,273 people, killing 9%.MERS is thought to be deadlier, but more difficult to transmit,although the recent spike in cases may mean that it’s spreading moreeasily. Russia Today and AFP

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