Taipei – Rear Admiral Rommel Jude Ong, a retired Philippine naval officer, expressed concern about China’s alarming level of military activities in the East and the South China Sea. He doubts that no country on their own, even the US can resist the Chinese naval expansionist strategy. Therefore, the retired admiral called on unified efforts from Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines to maintain maritime security.
Ong told a newspaper, ‘The security of Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines, which are part of the First Island Chain in the East and the South China Sea, is threatened by China’s maritime aggression.’ A joint military exercise between Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines is not an option but a necessity. Ong explained that their sovereign security is not independent of each other but interconnected. He further claims that these three countries cannot stop China’s maritime expansion independently, but it is possible if they cooperate with each other.
The northern Bashi Strait is strategically important to the Philippines. Whereas, the security of the Senkaku Islands is essential for Japan. Since Taiwan is a link between the two maritime areas, the joint exercise of the three countries will be crucial, Ong explained. Earlier, the Japanese and the Philippines had held military and naval exercises independently, but three countries are yet to conduct joint military exercises.
Meanwhile, the allies of the United States have lost their trust in them after a humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan. There is an intense resentment against the United States in the European countries. There are rising concerns if the US wishes to support its allies against China. China cites US withdrawal to threaten Taiwan and other countries to no not rely on the United States. Retired naval officer Rear Admiral Rommel Jude Ong has warned about the rising threat of China and called for unity of Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines which is essential in such a situation.