Monday, July 22, 2024
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China is luring Philippine elites close to the base the US needs to defend Taiwan

Ties between the US and the Philippines are as strong as they have been in decades, with soldiers from both sides just completing three weeks of joint military exercises that resemble the kind of preparations needed to counter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan to help ward off.

But in the northern Philippines, near a military base that the US recently gained access to and which is crucial to Taiwan’s defense, Beijing has made inroads into key politicians. Cagayan Province Governor Manuel Mamba has traveled to China twice in the past 12 months and has four copies of President Xi Jinping’s book “The Governance of China” in his possession.

“We were VIPs and treated very, very well,” Mamba said of his visits to China. ‘We stayed in five-star hotels. We could walk around everywhere, even at night.”

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