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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora