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U.S. military to boost Philippines presence; China tells army to be prepared

 
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12/13/2012 12:50 AM

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U.S. military to boost Philippines presence; China tells army to be prepared
U.S. military to boost Philippines presence; China tells army to be prepared

MANILA - U.S. and Philippine officials are expected to agree on an increase in the number of U.S. military ships, aircraft and troops rotating through the Philippines, Filipino officials said, as tensions simmer with China over its maritime claims.

Though he made no direct reference to the territorial disputes, new Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping urged his military to prepare for a struggle. He made the comments during his visit to a South China Sea fleet ship in southern Guangdong province, but did not name any potential aggressor.

Senior U.S. and Philippine officials met on Wednesday in Manila to discuss strengthening security and economic ties at a time of growing tension over China's aggressive sovereignty claims over vast stretches of the disputed South China Sea.

Philippine defense and diplomatic officials said they expected to see more U.S. ships, aircraft and troops for training exercises and disaster and relief operations.

"What we are discussing right now is increasing the rotational presence of U.S. forces," Carlos Sorreta, the foreign ministry's Assistant Secretary for American Affairs, told reporters. A five-year joint U.S.-Philippine military exercise plan would be approved this week, he added.

The size of the increase in the U.S. military assets in the Philippines, a former U.S. colony, was unclear.

Pio Lorenzo Batino, Philippine deputy defence minister, said there were "substantial discussions" on a possible new framework allowing Washington to put equipment in the Southeast Asian state.

"There has been no discussion yet on specifics ... (these are) policy consultations and the specifics would be determined by the technical working groups," he told a news conference, saying the new framework was discussed in the context of increasing rotational presence.

U.S. Assistant Sevretary of State Kurt Campbell said the two allies' relationship was "in a renaissance".

The discussions come as the Philippines, Australia and other parts of the region have seen a resurgence of U.S. warships, planes and personnel under Washington's so-called "pivot" in foreign, economic and security policy towards Asia announced last year.

Wary of Washington's intentions, China is building up its own military. Its claims over most of the South China Sea have set it directly against U.S. allies Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also claim parts of the mineral-rich waters.

Xi, who assumed the role of military chief about a month ago, called on the 2.3-million-strong People's Liberation Army to "push forward preparations for a military struggle", state news agency Xinhua said.


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[link to news.yahoo.com]
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User ID: 1326993
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12/13/2012 12:57 AM
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Re: U.S. military to boost Philippines presence; China tells army to be prepared
It always amazes me that, regardless of how nonsensical the plan, the outcome is never in doubt.

The Philippines, after rejecting the United States, now is essentially asking for protection from China.

Interestingly, the U.S. would have freely given the Philippines to China if that is the path the islands chose.

Pawns and fools. Left or right. Red or Blue. Pepsi or Coke.

In the end, it is all the same.

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