News / Asia

US-Philippines Defense Deal to Improve Asia Security

Philippine Defense Deal Caps Obama Asia Touri
X
Luis Ramirez
April 28, 2014 5:57 PM
President Barack Obama is completing a four-country tour of Asia, where he reassured allies in the region of U.S. support in the face of China's growing influence. At his final stop, Manila, Obama welcomed the signing of a new defense agreement with the Philippines. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez is traveling with the president and has this report.

Philippine Defense Deal Caps Obama Asia Tour

Luis Ramirez
— U.S. President Barack Obama concluded his weeklong visit to Asia with the signing of a landmark defense agreement with the Philippines that will allow U.S. troops access to Philippine bases.

The sound of a military band and a ground-shaking 21-cannon salute greeted Obama's upon his arrival at Manila's Malacanang Palace.

The president is ending his Asia visit on a high note. Eight months of negotiations with the Philippine government culminated with the signing Monday of a deal that will allow for the largest rotation of U.S. troops into the country since U.S. bases here closed more than two decades ago.
  • President Barack Obama speaks to military troops at Fort Bonifacio, saying a new military pact signed with the Philippines on Monday, April 27 granting a larger presence for U.S. forces would bolster the region's maritime security, Manila, April 29, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama states during a joint news conference with President Benigno Aquino III, that a 10-year agreement signed Monday, April 27, will give the U.S. military greater access to Philippine bases, helping to promote peace and stability in the region, Malacanang Palace, Manila, April 28, 2014. 



     
  • Police use a water cannon on "Bayan Muna" (My Country First) activists who tried to march to the U.S. embassy protesting President Barack Obama's visit, Manila April 29, 2014. 
  • The tail section of Air Force One is pictured on the tarmac at Elmendorf Air Force Base outside Anchorage, Alaska, as President Barack Obama stayed onboard during a refuel stop on his return to the United States from Asia, April 29, 2014. 
  • U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama, center, stands to speak as he attends a state dinner with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • Philippine activists pull barbed wire fence as they try to go near the Malacanang Palace during a rally to oppose the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and U.S., Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • An activist holds a protest sign near the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama is welcomed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House in Seoul, April 25, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and Japan's Empress Michiko attend a welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands at the conclusion of their joint news conference at the Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, bow to each other during a youth science event at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.

The deal, known as the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, will enable U.S. forces to train and conduct exercises with the Philippine military.  

At a joint news conference with Philippine President Benigno Aquino, Obama said the agreement is not about returning U.S. troops permanently, nor is it about dominating this country that it once ruled.

“I want to be very clear. The United States is not trying to reclaim old bases or build new bases," he noted. "At the invitation of the Philippines, American service members will rotate through Filipino facilities.”

The president also said a new security agreement signed with the Philippines is not meant to "counter" or "control" China. He said the United States has a constructive relationship with China and "our goal is to make sure international rules and norms are respected, and that includes in the area of international disputes."

China and the Philippines have competing maritime and territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency called the move "particularly disturbing as it may embolden Manila in dealing with Beijing." Xinhua said by striking a defense deal with the United States, the Aquino administration intends to "confront China with U.S. backing."

The subject of U.S. troops on Philippine soil is a touchy one for many here, and the agreement sparked violent protests by left-wing activists ahead of the American president's arrival.

U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg told an audience at the signing ceremony the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement will "promote peace and security in the region."

Goldberg emphasized no U.S. bases would be built in the Philippines.

"A commitment to democratic governance and international law, the mutuality of benefits for both nations as we develop our individual and collective defense capacities, respect for Philippine sovereignty over all locations covered under the agreement, and the understanding that the United States does not intend to establish a permanent military presence in the Philippines,'' he said.

Details of agreement

U.S. officials say the framework agreement is for 10 years, and will allow the U.S. to rotate - but not base - troops, air, and naval resources at Philippine military facilities.  The troops will train and conduct exercises with Philippine forces on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, and other missions.

The Philippine government signed the agreement in the face of China's increasingly assertive behavior in the South China Sea, where the Chinese and the Philippines have competing maritime and territorial claims.

The Philippines is shifting its defense strategy to turn its focus from internal security missions to external missions. The U.S. says the new defense deal will allow American forces to help the Philippines build up its deterrence capabilities and that the agreement is not about containing China, but about equipping its Philippine allies to face a range of threats. 

The deal does not establish how many troops can rotate into the country at any given time.

The Philippines is the final stop for Obama, who also visited Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia on a trip aimed primarily at reassuring allies that the United States stands by its commitments to help defend them.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
April 28, 2014 11:11 AM
A lot of Filipinos remember (with pain and humiliation), the brutal US occupation forces of the Philippines, where hundreds of thousands of innocent Filipinos died under US occupation, and the US "Unequal Treaties" forced upon them by gunpoint....
NEVER again, does the Filipinos want the US occupation forces stationed on Philippine land....

In Response

by: alan svile from: US
April 28, 2014 2:50 PM
I guessed Philippines have no choice but to stick with the U.S. instead with china's aggressive grabbing attols and reefs inside the Philippine territory for oil and gas exploration.. China's so called 9 dash line overlapping to Philippines 200 Nautical miles of Exclusive Economic Zone and to other Asean Nations is un-acceptable to the world.
Philippines would be better off with the U.S.A. than China, period which is a great news for both USA and the Philippines..

In Response

by: Ian from: USA
April 28, 2014 2:22 PM
"Details of agreement
U.S. officials say the framework agreement is for 10 years, and will allow the U.S. to rotate - [BUT NOT BASE] - troops, air, and naval resources at Philippine military facilities. The troops will train and conduct exercises with Philippine forces on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, and other missions."

Did you even bother to read the article and pay attention to what they agreeing on , did you see the phrase [BUT NOT BASE] . I would say right now, a lot of Filipinos want the US present to counter the Chinese encroaching & stealing of their islands

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid