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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid