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US Military to Help Build Seaport on PH Island Facing Taiwan

The US military will help build a new port facility on a Philippine island near Taiwan, according to a report by Taiwan News.

The new facility in the northernmost Batanes province, less than 200 kilometers (124 miles) from southern Taiwan, is said to be for the rapid evacuation of Filipinos residing there in case of a Chinese invasion.

More than 150,000 Filipinos are currently working in Taiwan, according to the Philippines’ migrant workers department.

Additionally, concerns are growing that the US-backed military activities on the island facing Taiwan are meant to give Washington’s forces a strategic advantage if Beijing attacks the self-ruled island.

The exact location of the new seaport has not been publicly announced but it is likely to face north. The province’s largest port, the Basco Seaport, faces west.

The US military will reportedly send a delegation to Batanes next month to discuss the construction and funding.

Bolstering Defensive Capacity Near Taiwan

The construction of a Taiwan-facing port in the northern Philippines aligns with the country’s efforts to bolster its defensive capacity near the island nation.

In early February, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro called for the deployment of more troops and structures in Batanes, saying the island would serve as the “spearhead of the Philippines as far as the northern baseline is concerned.”

The province is also being eyed as the next location of an annual US-Philippines joint military exercise called Balikatan.

Since calling on Batanes residents to join the military last month, more than 120 additional naval reservists have reportedly been deployed to various bases in the province.

In the event of a Chinese blockade of Taiwan, northern Philippine islands could be critical staging points for the US military to continue supplying Taiwan.

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