News / Asia

    US, Philippines Agree on Five Locations Covered by Defense Pact

    FILE - U.S. Army soldiers conduct an ambush drill inside a Philippine army camp in Fort Magsaysay, north of Manila, April 21, 2012. The base is one of five agreed-on locations for American military forces to be able to access under a security deal.
    FILE - U.S. Army soldiers conduct an ambush drill inside a Philippine army camp in Fort Magsaysay, north of Manila, April 21, 2012. The base is one of five agreed-on locations for American military forces to be able to access under a security deal.

    The United States and the Philippines have agreed on five locations that  American military forces can have access to under a 10-year security deal that comes amid rising tensions with China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

    The two countries have been discussing where in the Philippines the U.S. forces could operate under the so-called Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). 

    Under the deal struck Friday in Washington, the five agreed-to locations are Antonio Bautista Air Base, Basa Air Base, Fort Magsaysay, Lumbia Air Base and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base.

    "Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the U.S.-Philippines alliance, in terms of ensuring both countries' mutual defense and security, as well as jointly contributing to regional peace, stability and economic prosperity," State Department spokesman John Kirby said Friday. 

    The bilateral EDCA was signed in 2014 but faced legal challenges from groups opposing a U.S. military presence. 

    Earlier in January, the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that the bilateral defense agreement is consistent with the Philippine constitution, which was seen as a boost for U.S. efforts to reassert its presence in Asia.

    The agreement for U.S. military to have a presence in five Philippines bases came amid tensions between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea, where the countries have competing territorial claims. 

    But the State Department cautioned that "no other nation in the region should take any other message away from this new agreement." 

    "What it signals is our commitment to our alliance with the Philippines," Kirby said. 

    The U.S.-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue was led by Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Amy Searight; and Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Evan Garcia and Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino for the government of the Philippines.

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    Comments
         
    by: Seato
    March 21, 2016 2:43 PM
    To protect Vietnam's territorial integrity,Vietnam should do the same by opening all the military bases in Haiphong,Danang,Camranh and VungTau to America and Japan before China seizes the rest of the Spratly island from Vietnam and secures their full control over the South China Sea.We must also increase our propaganda in Mandarin to educate the mainlain Chinese about China's illegal and ununreasonable 9-dash map and their aggression in South China Sea.Chinese should remember that their territory should only reach as far as Hainan island as proven on all ancient and modern maps and should not support Xi Jinping's stupid war for world domination

    by: nicodemus from: philippines
    March 20, 2016 9:05 PM
    The Philippines should just sink a couple of small Chinese boats and see what happens. Will the defense agreement hold or not if China retaliates? Will China still keep building islands? If nothing happens then it is probably the U.S. allowing the Chinese to build these islands.

    by: Observer from: Canada
    March 20, 2016 12:53 PM
    The aggression of China in the South sea was the result of The US policy opened the door for China to get rich when China had money first thing they did was to expend military and then expending their territory they moved their south border deep in to Vietnam then occupied the South sea to claim it they had to build a military post to protect it . China not hesitate to go to war when they had Military capable and man power to do so . yet no one in the region can push China out of the South sea ,China will have thousands floating fishing villages in the South sea its inevitable not even the US can change that .
    The US still has freedom of navigation but no freedom of navigation for the small and weak neighbour countries.

    by: Anti-Commie
    March 19, 2016 9:21 AM
    US presence in Asia is very important to shut the aggressive Communists from taking over the free world. Taxpayers' money is therefore put to good use.

    by: Synoptic 12 from: United States
    March 18, 2016 11:02 PM
    We like the Philippine people for they remain strong and are most capable of stopping any aggression directed at them. The Philippines have islands within their waters which are being invaded upon by China. In this respect, for the United States to work in unison with the Philippines is an important waymark for all to notice.
    In Response

    by: Sporin from: First Nations
    March 20, 2016 1:52 AM
    This is a massive waste of tax dollars for nothing that will go nowhere. China and Philippines have never had a war. The biggest war the Philippines had was with the U.S. and then became a U.S. colony.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 18, 2016 8:46 PM
    The US couldn't field a conventional army large enough with every warship and every warplane they posses in all the countries surrounding China to launch a successful attack on China, or defend themselves with a conventional army from an attack by China in Asia? .. Silent the war-hawks and save the money? .. US basses in the Philippines, stop the propaganda?

    First of all, the US still doesn't have the means to transport a large enough conventional army to the drop off points to launch an attack on China to get a beachhead? .. Second, the US small contingent of it's conventional military forces in Asia are spread to far apart and to thin to withstand a Chinese attack? .. Third, both sides have defensive nuclear weapons to prevent an attack on each other? .. SO? .. It's a total waste of taxpayer money, manpower, weapons and military equipment? .. Think about it?
    In Response

    by: Jay from: Tomas
    March 19, 2016 4:30 PM
    Who is talking about invading China's mainland? That isnt the focus here. The focus is on deterrence of China's aggressive activities in the South China Sea. This is an area that almost everyone except China agrees ISN'T Chinese territory.
    I have spent time living in China. The Chinese are very kind people but the military there is bolstered by nationalist sentiments which cause them to behave in this way. The West is quite capable of deterring Chinese behavior in that region. We are still militarily superior to China and will remain that way for some time, the Chinese are keenly aware of that. Their confidence in how we will react is not based on the outcome of military confrontation with us but on their perceived view that we will be ultimately reluctant to do so for economic reason. If we support their rivals in that region it will give them pause ultimately.
    In Response

    by: Synoptic 12 from: United States
    March 18, 2016 11:04 PM
    China believes that constructing man made islands is a right of passage to declare sovereignty in waters which belong not to them. China’s posture to lay defense outposts as a means to increase their reach, can be looked upon as a nation trying to exert their will upon all nations. This in fact, is the mindset of a nation hoping to attain superior strength by the introduction of ill conceived mandates. China is not sovereign in, or above the waters, yet China believes that an all encompassing directive shall be obeyed by every other nation. This is truly delusional ,whereby as even to initiate any ground to support these provocative actions, can be viewed as a nation wandering into dark waters which it knows not.

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