Do Not Want To Fall Into The Hands Of China. US Company Buys Subic Bay

Do Not Want To Fall Into The Hands Of China. US Company Buys Subic Bay
An aerial view of the sprawling port facilities at Subic Bay. Photo: AFP

International Military - The United States (US) has a naval base in the Philippines. The US military base is located in a bay in the Philippines called Subic Bay.

Reportedly a US-based private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management has completed the purchase of Subic Bay. Previously Subic Bay served as a US Navy base in the Philippines.

The American company's purchase of Subic Bay allayed fears that the former US Navy base would fall into Chinese hands after several companies from the country showed interest in acquiring it. There are fears if Subic Bay falls into the hands of a Chinese company it will give Beijing and its troops access to the South China Sea, which is their dream.

In 2019, several Chinese companies had expressed a desire to buy Subic Bay owned by South Korean company Hanjin Heavy Industries and South Korean Construction but had to release it after being declared bankrupt.

Reporting from Defense Security Asia, Chinese companies are said to be eyeing the purchase of Subic Bay because of its proximity to the South China Sea. Cerberus Capital is said to have paid $300 million to acquire Subic Bay. "It is extraordinary to see the purchase of the Hanjin shipyard by a United States-based company," said Ely Ratner, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs. "This is a prime example of a public-private partnership between the United States and the Philippines," he added.

Cerberus' purchase of Subic Bay by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez will benefit both countries, provide jobs for local residents, boost economic activity and further strengthen the Manila-Washington strategic relationship. "Working with the United States on this project (Cerberus' purchase of Subic Bay) will ensure we can protect interests not only for us but for the entire region," the Philippine ambassador said.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin said Cerberus' purchase of Subic Bay was one of the largest public-private collaborations between the Philippines and the United States in the 75-year history of the two countries.

Cerberus co-owner Steve Feinberg thanked the Philippine and US governments for helping to realize the purchase of the 300-hectare Subic Bay.

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