The United States of America has secured access to four additional military bases in the Philippines – a key bit of real estate which will offer a front seat to monitor the Chinese in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.
With this deal, the US has stitched the gap in the arc of US alliances stretching from South Korea and Japan in the north to Australia in the south.
The missing link had been the Philippines, which borders two of the biggest potential flashpoints – Taiwan and the South China Sea.
The deal, which in part reverses the US’ departure from their former colony more than 30 years ago, is no small matter.
According to the BBC, the US hasn’t said where the new bases are but three of them could be on Luzon, an island on the northern edge of the Philippines, the only large piece of land close to Taiwan—not counting China.