Rubio Says US Must Stand with Philippines Against China

Rubio Says US Must Stand with Philippines Against China

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
August 23, 2023

While Americans struggle with many issues at home, the US position of dominance abroad is imperiled by China. In an op-ed for National Interest, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote on the importance of the United States standing behind its Indo-Pacific allies, such as the Philippines, against Chinese aggression.

The emphasis on the Philippines as opposed to Taiwan, which has been subject to multiple violations of its sovereignty by China in recent years and is dangerously close to being invaded, is acknowledged by Sen. Rubio, who argued that "the Philippines may actually be the next flashpoint."

Chinese intrusions into other Indo-Pacific countries' internationally recognized share of the South China Sea have increased in recent years due to the area's abundance of resources such as oil, natural gas, minerals, and fish. Since 2016, Chinese ships have sailed in Filipino waters with government backing contrary to the United Nations ruling against it.

As a result, Lt. General Romeo Brawner Jr., who was recently made chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, has vowed to protect the country "at all costs" and modernize its military to meet the new threat.

"It’s an understandable reaction to what many Filipinos view as an existential threat. But Americans should also be concerned with Chinese aggression in the South China Sea," wrote Sen. Rubio.

After all, Rubio continued, "We don’t want a totalitarian regime that hates the United States to gain exclusive access to huge stores of rare earth minerals, energy, seafood, and trade in Asia. In addition, we don’t want to lose access to the Philippines, which plays a crucial role in the international economy."

Moreover, the U.S. should support a united front of other countries in the region against China, saying the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would be more likely to back down.

"If there is even a hint that the United States will not honor its security commitments to the Philippines or other treaty allies in Asia, it will encourage Beijing to engage in more hostilities to test our resolve. Americans have enough to worry about already. Adding the breakdown of the post-World War II order in Asia to their plates would mean an awful lot to swallow," Rubio concluded.

Rubio's op-ed comes shortly after Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL) spoke on strengthening America's relationship with India against China, which has similarly suffered tensions with China on its Himalayan border.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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