Philippines, US sign defense pact

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MilitaryThe Philippines and the US signed an agreement on April 28 that will boost the American troop presence in the Southeast Asian nation, as it seeks to counter China’s assertiveness over territorial disputes.

Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg signed the 10-year accord in Manila a few hours before President Barack Obama arrived for a two-day visit. The US does not intend to establish a permanent military presence in the country, Goldberg said at the ceremony.

President Benigno Aquino is strengthening military ties with countries like the US, which is treaty-bound to defend the Philippines in case of attack, as China pushes its claims in the South China Sea. The agreement is also aimed at bolstering Obama’s economic and security rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region.

“This move is very much consistent with Obama’s commitment to enhance America’s strategic presence in Asia in the face of China’s growing power,” said Hugh White, a professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. The pact will confirm China’s belief “that the US pivot into the Asia-Pacific is about trying to contain it.”

The agreement spells out the requirement of Philippine sovereignty and prevents the permanent stationing of US troops and the US having military bases or weapons of mass destruction in the country, according to a draft of the details released earlier this month. US access to Philippine military facilities will be at the Philippines’ invitation.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippines and the US signed an agreement on April 28 that will boost the American troop presence in the Southeast Asian nation, as it seeks to counter China’s assertiveness over territorial disputes.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

MilitaryThe Philippines and the US signed an agreement on April 28 that will boost the American troop presence in the Southeast Asian nation, as it seeks to counter China’s assertiveness over territorial disputes.

Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg signed the 10-year accord in Manila a few hours before President Barack Obama arrived for a two-day visit. The US does not intend to establish a permanent military presence in the country, Goldberg said at the ceremony.

President Benigno Aquino is strengthening military ties with countries like the US, which is treaty-bound to defend the Philippines in case of attack, as China pushes its claims in the South China Sea. The agreement is also aimed at bolstering Obama’s economic and security rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region.

“This move is very much consistent with Obama’s commitment to enhance America’s strategic presence in Asia in the face of China’s growing power,” said Hugh White, a professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. The pact will confirm China’s belief “that the US pivot into the Asia-Pacific is about trying to contain it.”

The agreement spells out the requirement of Philippine sovereignty and prevents the permanent stationing of US troops and the US having military bases or weapons of mass destruction in the country, according to a draft of the details released earlier this month. US access to Philippine military facilities will be at the Philippines’ invitation.

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