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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.