Thoughts on Balikatan

Many people are talking: ‘Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow.’

There are people against Balikatan and the US military bases in the Philippines.

Considering the history between the Philippines and the US, and the memories of a war-torn Philippines during and after the Pacific War, it is understandable that many people do not want the prospect of the country being ever embroiled in war again.

Many Taiwanese envy that the Philippines can decide whether it wants to hold military exercises with the US or let them use Edca sites because Taiwan simply can’t do that.

I read the other day about how local officials in the Batanes perceive current geopolitical tension in the Indo-Pacific region:

Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco said: “Our residents got worried because of the tensions between China and Taiwan. But, if there was none, we wouldn’t be so concerned.”

Many people are talking: “Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow”, worried that war might erupt in Taiwan as well.

That’s why my colleague goes to Lviv and other Ukrainian cities to observe and report how civilians, men and women alike, are learning combat skills, including shooting, anti-tank weapons, urban warfare, unmanned aerial vehicles and emergency medical care to defend their country.

In Taiwan, learning from the experience of Ukraine, the civil defense system is also being reviewed, such as increasing training hours in order to defend Taiwan from external threats, no matter where the threats may come from in the future.

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