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Philippines-Taiwan Military Cooperation ‘Zero Possibility’: Defense Official

The Philippines has blatantly rejected potential military cooperation with Taiwan amid escalating tensions with China.

Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilbert Teodoro told a local television show that defense cooperation with its neighbor would not be possible because it would disregard one of China’s core issues.

Beijing views Taipei as part of its territory under its “One China” policy and vows to use force, if necessary, to retake the island nation.

“That has a zero possibility (of) happening, because really, the relations between China and Taiwan, and its status as an international body, is an internal question between China and Taiwan,” Teodoro explained.

Manila has also had a strained relationship with China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Strategic Importance

Many military observers view the Philippines as a strategically important location for Taiwan should China invade the island.

Considering its proximity, Manila could be a resupply point for the Taiwanese military in case of a Chinese blockade.

Taiwanese warplanes could also fly to the Philippines to avoid missile attacks from China.

Military officials in the Philippines have acknowledged that the country is an ideal corridor for US support to Taipei in the event of a conflict.

“We are a US ally. We are in a strategic location. We are so close that if anything happens in Taiwan, we will be involved,” General Emmanuel Bautista, former chief of staff of the armed forces of the Philippines, said.

US and Philippines
An American soldier with Philippine counterparts during a military exercise in 2015. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP

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