Note: Squares denote countries/states with full- or part-time U.S. military presence, not locations or bases or installations. Sources: U.S. Defense Dept.’s Defense Manpower Data Center; The Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of U.S. Military Strength; U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Military Is Offered New Bases in the PacificPalau invites Pentagon presence at unspecified joint-use facilities, marking an advance of U.S. efforts to pressure China
PALAU—The Republic of Palau has asked the Pentagon to build ports, bases and airfields on the island nation, officials said, offering a boost to U.S. military expansion plans in Asia, as Washington aims to counter China.
The request came during a visit here last week by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the first-ever trip by a U.S. Pentagon chief to the tiny republic, which is made up of hundreds of islands in the Philippine Sea and is closely aligned diplomatically with Taiwan.
Mr. Esper traveled to Palau as part of a U.S. effort to realign its military footprint in the region, adhering to the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which calls for enhanced steps to meet security challenges posed by China.
Beijing has moved to lay claim to islands in the South China Sea, a major global trade route. China also has increased jet-fighter flights near Taiwan, fought a border skirmish with India and passed a national-security law to limit Hong Kong’s autonomy.
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WNU Editor: Many Asian countries are not comfortable with what the Chinese are doing.