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Alarm bells ring as Philippines backs down in South China Sea over concerns US doesn’t have its back

Alarm bells ring as Philippines backs down in South China Sea over concerns US doesn’t have its back
Increasing antagonism in the waters of the South China Sea has brought the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China to blows over contested makeshift islands and atolls, raising alarm bells for Manila about the US commitment to the region’s security.

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Increasing tensions in the South China Sea have led to clashes between the Philippines and China over disputed islands and atolls, raising concerns about US commitment to regional security. The South China Sea is crucial for global maritime trade, but it has also become a battleground for competing nations, with China asserting its claims over 80% of the sea. Recent incidents have seen the Philippines resisting Chinese aggression, but doubts have arisen about the US's capacity to support its allies in the region. The Philippines has expressed concerns about the US's resolve and capacity, leading to a more neutral approach to the great power competition. The ambiguity of Beijing's tactics has caused strategic anxiety for the Philippines, as it questions the US's commitment to its Mutual Defence Treaty. As the Indo-Pacific region becomes a focal point for global power competition, Australia is also re-evaluating its security relationship with the US and its own defence capabilities. The government's shift towards a "Focused Force" raises questions about Australia's role and objectives in the region. With the majority of Australia's maritime trade passing through the Indonesian archipelago, the country's future role and position in the Indo-Pacific region is a critical issue that requires careful consideration.

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