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US-China Rivalry Impacts Land Reclamation in the Philippines: Manila Bay Projects Halted

US-China Rivalry Impacts Land Reclamation in the Philippines: Manila Bay Projects Halted (Photo: Esquiremag PH)
US-China Rivalry Impacts Land Reclamation in the Philippines: Manila Bay Projects Halted (Photo: Esquiremag PH)

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has taken a decisive step by instituting an indefinite suspension of 22 major land reclamation in the Philippines in scenic Manila Bay. The primary objective is to facilitate a comprehensive study of the potential environmental effects and legal compliance of these ventures, according to a government official who spoke on Thursday.

The motivations underlying these projects of land reclamation in the Philippines are diverse, spanning economic, leisure, and infrastructural interests. (Photo: Construction Week Online)

The motivations underlying these projects of land reclamation in the Philippines are diverse, spanning economic, leisure, and infrastructural interests. (Photo: Construction Week Online)

US-China Rivalry Impacts Land Reclamation in the Philippines

According to a published article, this directive from Marcos to halt projects regarding land reclamation in the Philippines comes on the heels of a pronounced expression of concern by the United States regarding the perceived ecological damage that could arise from these projects.

Of particular concern is the involvement of a Chinese company previously blacklisted by Washington due to its role in constructing fortified Chinese military bases on islands in the South China Sea – a development that has further exacerbated tensions in the region’s contested waters.

Environment Secretary Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, speaking in a televised news conference, confirmed the suspension of these projects. “At this point, all of these projects are suspended,” she stated, emphasizing that each one is under thorough review.

As part of this process, a team of esteemed scientists encompassing oceanographers, geologists, and climate change experts is being assembled. Their expertise will be channeled into scrutinizing both ongoing and planned reclamation endeavors, a significant number of which had received approval during the tenure of the previous administration.

READ ALSO: U.S. Investment Ban in China Reflects Lessons from Russia, Say Analysts 

Land Reclamation in the Philippines

The motivations underlying these projects of land reclamation in the Philippines are diverse, spanning economic, leisure, and infrastructural interests. Spearheaded by real estate companies, these initiatives aim to construct island paradises boasting upscale hotels, lavish casinos, gourmet restaurants, and vibrant entertainment hubs.

Nonetheless, these ambitions have been met with staunch opposition from environmental advocacy groups, which have taken to the streets to protest against what they perceive as potentially detrimental projects.

As this pause in land reclamation in the Philippines’ activities rolls, global attention is focused on the unfolding narrative. The suspension of these projects and the ensuing rigorous evaluation signify a commitment to strike a balance between economic progress and environmental preservation.

Moreover, the intricate involvement of international stakeholders, most notably the United States and China, underlines the broader implications that these decisions bear, extending far beyond the serene shores of Manila Bay.

READ ALSO: China’s Reliance on US for 4,000+ Vital Goods and Allied Nations Exposed; New Trade Data Shows 

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