Protesters in the Philippines have been speaking out against the growing U.S. military presence in the country as nearly 18,000 troops from both countries take part in a massive military drill in the South China Sea. This comes as tension is escalating between the United States and China over espionage, economic competition and the war in Ukraine. The Philippines, a former U.S. colony, recently agreed to give the Pentagon access to four more of its military bases, including two located in the northern province of Cagayan about 250 miles from Taiwan. Ties between Washington and Manila have been growing closer since the inauguration of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the former U.S.-backed dictator of the same name. For more, we speak with Renato Reyes Jr., the secretary general of Bayan, an alliance of leftist groups in the Philippines opposed to U.S. militarism. He says that “poor countries like the Philippines” will be “the biggest losers if the conflict escalates between the U.S. and China.”
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