Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Rodrigo Duterte hold a news conference to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the U.S.-Philippine Special Alliance outside the Oval Office of the White House on Sept. 23, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
The Philippine government is moving toward resuming the resupply of its southern islands from the Hainan Shipyard, where its warplanes had been grounded while a tugboat allegedly attempted to smuggle narcotics. The plan is to provide a ferry to three or four Philippine frigate ships, the latter of which is currently stationed in Singapore in preparation for what is being described as a move eastward in future naval operations. The ferry will reportedly be manned by Filipino soldiers for strategic security reasons, according to the Associated Press.
Philippine defense officials have also reportedly said that combat naval vessels will have to travel to Taiwan and China separately, forcing both nations to extend port visits in various locations during the visit. The Philippines has also said that it’s strengthening its military ties with Vietnam, though has no plans to reach out to the China-allied nations of Thailand, or the self-proclaimed South China Sea state of Taiwan.
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