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The Philippines has ended its flirtation with China – so what next for the country’s navy?

11th September 2023 - 17:00 GMT | by Alix Valenti in Bologna


In addition to US-donated vessels, the Philippine Navy has acquired ships from South Korea, such as the Jose Rizal-class multirole frigates. (Photo: USN)

For decades, largely as a result of historical ties, the US was the only Western country with a strong interest in the Philippines and its navy. Over the past year, other nations have turned their attention to the archipelago. The question is why now? And what is the impact of this shift on the Philippine Navy?

As the second largest archipelagic state in the world – behind Indonesia – and situated at the edge of the Pacific but with territorial waters at the crossroads of international maritime trade routes, the Philippines has always held a strategic position in Southeast Asia.

Yet for decades the US was the only Western country showing interest and building ties with the Philippines and its navy, with several bases in the country until the non-renewal of the lease in 1991.

Additionally, despite its 36,289km of coastline and its 2,263,816 sq km of EEZ, both of which require considerable maritime capabilities to

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Alix Valenti


Alix Valenti

Dr Alix Valenti is an international freelance defence journalist. Her main focus is on naval …

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