Batanes governor says U.S. won’t help Philippines build new port near Taiwan

The U.S. military will not be involved in port development on a remote island in the far north of the Philippines near Taiwan, the Philippine governor said on Friday, eliminating a potential source of potential Friction with China about the U.S. presence in the region.

The governor of the Batanes, less than 125 miles from Taiwan, said in August that she had sought U.S. funding to build a new port there. The US Embassy confirmed at the time that its diplomats and US Army Pacific (USARPAC) experts had been engaging with local authorities on various support measures for the islands.

“At first they said they would help, but then they stopped helping, so I asked the PPA for help,” Gov. Marilou Cayco told Reuters in a message, referring to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

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The project is intended to help unload cargo from the capital Manila during rough seas during the monsoon season, when existing facilities are often inaccessible.

The U.S. Embassy said on Friday it would not immediately comment on the matter.

A U.S. military involvement in the Batanes could escalate tensions at a time of growing friction with China and Washington’s push to strengthen long-term defense engagement with the Philippines, which Beijing is skeptical of.

The Bashi Strait between the Batanes and Taiwan is considered a chokepoint for ships between the Western Pacific and the disputed South China Sea, a key waterway if China invades Taiwanese.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the Chinese military regularly sends ships and aircraft through the strait.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement released to the media on Friday that Taiwan is China’s internal matter and therefore it should never become an issue between China and the Philippines.

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It’s unclear what the statement was in response to.

“Any attempt to involve the Taiwan issue at sea Dispute between China and Philippines It is dangerous,” the embassy said in a statement, without elaborating on the danger.

Asked why the United States was no longer involved in the port project, Kayko said she didn’t know. “We actually just put forward a proposal and we asked the PPA for help because we were unsure.”

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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