US, Philippines start talks on larger US presence

Philippines starts negotiating a larger US military presence amid territorial row with China

US, Philippines start talks on larger US presence

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The Philippine defense chief says a larger U.S. military presence in his country will help Manila detect and deter territorial intrusions in the South China Sea through information-sharing but American troops will still be banned from getting involved in regular security operations.

U.S. and Filipino officials began negotiations Wednesday in Manila on a new defense agreement that would allow larger numbers of U.S. troops to have access to Philippine military camps and bring in aircraft, ships and other security assets into the country.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said a larger U.S. presence can lead to more joint military training.

The Philippines' desire to bolster its defense has dovetailed with Washington's intention to pivot away from years of heavy military engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq to Asia.

Updated : 2021-04-13 16:30 GMT+08:00