News / Asia

US Pledges $40 Million in Military Aid to Philippines

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 2nd from left, gestures as he delivers a speech beside Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, center, before dinner at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines, Dec. 17, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 2nd from left, gestures as he delivers a speech beside Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, center, before dinner at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines, Dec. 17, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced $40 million in new military aid to the Philippines, a longtime U.S. ally involved in a territorial dispute with China.

Kerry made the announcement Tuesday in Manila, where he was meeting with Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and President Benigno Aquino.

The aid will help improve the Philippines' maritime defense capabilities and boost counterterrorism operations against a Muslim insurgency in the south.

It comes on top of a $32 million package announced Monday to help Southeast Asian countries protect their territorial waters, including $18 million for Vietnam.

Kerry said the increased aid was not aimed at countering rising Chinese assertiveness, though he warned against all sides making "provocative" moves.

He also repeated U.S. opposition to China's new Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, which includes disputed areas claimed by Japan.

"We have not taken a position on the particular claims asserted by anybody, we have taken a position in a way we think it should be resolved. So we support arbitration, we support the rule of law. We do not support unilateral actions that have the impact of being provocative and raising the temperature in the potential conflict," he said.

Kym Bergmann, editor of both the Australia-based Asia/Pacific Defense Reporter and Defense Review Asia, said the U.S. aid to ASEAN members was a significant development.

"Not because of the amount of money, which is quite small by defense procurement terms.  But what it represents is that the United States is further bolstering its position in Southeast Asia and with those countries bordering the South China Sea. And I think the view from Beijing of this will not be a positive one. That they will see it as yet another part of an effort by the United States to encircle them and to push back against what are clearly their aspirations in the area," said Bergmann.

Kerry also hopes to use his meetings with Philippines leaders to make progress on a deal allowing more U.S. troops, aircraft and ships to pass through the country.

Carl Thayer, an Australian-based consultant and professor emeritus at the University of New South Wales, said Secretary Kerry's trip to the Philippines could lead to closer defense ties and follows the massive U.S. humanitarian response following last month's super typhoon [Haiyan].

"Key [Philippine] ministers, Secretary del Rosario for example, said the U.S. response [to typhoon Haiyan] was precisely why the Philippines needed a larger U.S. rotational presence, not tied to the annual exercise series. ... But to be there for natural disaster, humanitarian assistance response," said Thayer.

He added that the stumbling block to a deal with Manila was Philippine access to facilities built by the U.S. for temporary use and equipment brought into the Philippines for mutually agreed purposes.

On Wednesday, Kerry will tour areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands of people and prompted a massive, military-led humanitarian response by the United States.

The U.S. sent an aircraft carrier group, a thousand Marines, and spent millions of dollars to help its former colony recover from the typhoon, an effort many analysts said could help lead to closer defense ties.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
December 17, 2013 10:49 AM
Wah, so "generous"! When homeless Americans are still living in the cold.
In Response

by: Filipino from: Los Angeles
December 17, 2013 4:30 PM
Mr. "Huang", I suppose there are no homeless persons in China while the PLA is busy donating millions to Pakistan to gain access to a naval port near the Persian gulf. Very generous indeed.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs