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Superfriends vs China? US to tap Australia, Japan, India in Hanjin takeover

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The United States is determined to repel any attempt by China to establish a beachhead in its former naval base in Subic Bay.

Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing an unnamed government source, said: “The U.S. bid could be joined by companies from Japan and Australia…Add India, and it would be like the Quad.” Quad is the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the U.S., Japan, Australia and India formed by American President Donald Trump to foil China’s aggressive move to control South China Sea. In a report by Stars and Stripes, U.S. Navy confirmed it was
“exploring the viability of Subic Bay Hanjin Shipyard for use as a potential repair and maintenance facility… (but) no final decisions have been made (about the shipyard).” The U.S., which left its bases in Subic and Clark in 1992, has revived its interest in having a presence in Subic following the collapse of the Hanjin Shipyard and growinf threat of China in the region.

Retired Navy Capt. Brian Buzzell wrote in a U.S. Naval Institute magazine last June that Hanjin’s default on its $1.3 billion was a “golden chance to return to Subic Bay.” “No one foresaw the emergence of China as a political, economic, and military juggernaut that would assert historical claims to South China Sea islands, reefs, and territory,” wrote Buzzell.

The Philippine Navy is currently evaluating how to implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s order for the state to take a direct stake in the 300-hectare shipyard after the public outcry over the possibility of Chinese companies taking over the strategic property. Navy spokesman Captain Jonathan Zata told Nikkei that the Philippine Navy, which was in coordination with Hanjin’s creditors, planned to “use the space for ship docking and repairs, and will allow commercial shipbuilding operations to continue amid ongoing efforts to find a buyer.”

Duterte has also approved a plan to convert “areas surrounding the
yard as military reservation areas for future expansion of the
shipyard.” according to a separate document reviewed by Nikkei.

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