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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs