News / Asia

Obama, Aquino Discuss Security, Trade

Philippines President Aquino (left) and President Obma at White House Jun 8, 2012Philippines President Aquino (left) and President Obma at White House Jun 8, 2012
x
Philippines President Aquino (left) and President Obma at White House Jun 8, 2012
Philippines President Aquino (left) and President Obma at White House Jun 8, 2012
Kent Klein
WHITE HOUSE - President Barack Obama and Philippine President Benigno Aquino discussed Asian security issues as they met at the White House Friday. The United States is working to raise its profile in the Asia-Pacific region, in the face of growing Chinese influence.

Regional security was one of the main issues addressed in President Aquino’s first visit to the Oval Office.

With China becoming more assertive in the region, the U.S. is seeking to strengthen its Asian alliances, while the Philippines is looking for help in bolstering its naval and air defenses.

Washington hopes to balance its strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region with the need for China’s cooperation on many key issues.

After the meeting, President Obama said he and Mr. Aquino agreed to consult closely on regional issues and to strengthen their cooperation on military training.

“All of which is consistent with the announced pivot by the United States back to Asia, and reminding everybody that, in fact, the United States considers itself and is a Pacific power,” Obama said.

A White House statement says Obama reaffirmed U.S. support for the Philippines’ effort to strengthen its defenses.  Washington recently transferred a second U.S. Coast Guard cutter to the Philippines.

The United States and the Philippines have had a Mutual Defense Treaty since 1951, the oldest of five U.S. treaty alliances in Asia.

Ernest Bower, director of the Southeast Asia Program at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, says that alliance is particularly important to the Philippines.

“They are in a standoff with China at the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.  I think they really appreciate the support that the United States is providing them to try to build up their military capabilities and a credible deterrent,” Bower said.

Philippine and Chinese vessels have been engaged in a two-month standoff in the disputed shoal, although Mr. Aquino has said the tensions have eased somewhat.  

Bower says the U.S. has been advocating a peaceful solution.

“The United States wants to see disputes resolved peacefully, of course, and based on the rule of law.  And so I think we have encouraged the Philippines and the Chinese to use the legal mechanisms in the Law of the Sea, and see if they can apply those legal frameworks to resolve the dispute,” Bower said.

President Obama recognized Aquino’s commitment to peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

He also praised the Philippine leader’s efforts to reduce corruption and improve his country’s economy.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down up to three percent, while US market indexes were off around 2.5 percent in afternoon trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Clie from: CA
July 03, 2012 3:22 PM
Nobody wins here ...in the end that piece of land will be worthless.
It all points to greediness . The Philippines is a strategic place for the US in case of future conflict. It's hard to conquer the 7000 + islands so its good for military cover and forware strategy. On the pacific side of that country , thats where the US WWII ends the Japanese power. The only solution here is diplomatic.
The country who pulls the trigger will end up the looser diplomatically in the eyes other nations.

WAR = BLOOD
PEACE = PRICELESS

by: Anonymous
June 11, 2012 3:45 AM
Aquino look like a pet of Obma.

by: Anonymous
June 10, 2012 1:45 PM
Stop looking back (500 years) too far in the past.Please examine the situation today at South China Sea to figure out how to stop China from its expansionist policy, to restore peace in the region.

by: James from: Korea
June 09, 2012 10:08 PM
whoops, make that more than 300 years. Got carried away in the moment. Magellan claimed the Philippines for Spain in the 1520's.

Also forgot to mention that not only did the Filipinos NOT drive the Spanish (or the Americans) out, they didn't stand a chance of doing that to the Japanese. America did that also. Which is what probably will happen again if (and very unlikely) the Chinese somehow take the Philippines.

by: James from: Korea
June 09, 2012 9:45 PM
LAVietVet from: Rolling Hills Estates, CA wrote:

"The population will drive the Chinese back to their own country like what they did to the Spaniards"

Seriously? And you are a veteran of Vietnam from Calif.? You obviously don't know your own country's history very well. AMERICAN warships drove the Spanish from the Philippines. This action was part of something called the Spanish-American War in 1898. The Philippinos couldn't "drive the Spainiards" back for more than 500 years, and they couldn't drive the Americans back either. The U.S. finally left after public opinion made their colonization of the Philippines embarrassing.

Your claim about the Philippinos driving the Chinese back like they did the Spanish is ridiculous. You obviously missed out on your high school history classes--too much weed, 60-eras dude? Read a book--or in your case, several. I recommend The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley for starters. Your education is sorely lacking.

by: Nguyễn from: US
June 09, 2012 7:05 PM
Corruption in Philippines and Vietnam must be vastly reduced or China would take over those 2 countries by bribes.

by: heshukui from: china
June 09, 2012 5:06 AM
Very proud!
God blessing you!

by: ike suarez from: philippines
June 09, 2012 2:58 AM
it is likely that the philippines is in the same naval-military situation as it was during the mid-1930s vis-a-vis Japan. Now, it is with regard to china.

by: LAVietVet from: Rolling Hills Estates, CA
June 09, 2012 1:40 AM
Although Chinese immigrants flourished in the Philippines, the culture is Western and education in all schools are taught in English, notwithstanding the local dialects spoken domestically. China has to think twice to bully the Filipinos. The population will drive the Chinese back to their own country like what they did to the Spaniards.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs