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
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.

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Comment Sorting
by: Clie from: CA
July 03, 2012 3:22 PM
Nobody wins here 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.


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.

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