Quantcast
Latest Stories

Hagel focuses US military presence in PH visit


U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. AP

MANILA, Philippines – Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel will discuss expanding the US military’s presence in the Philippines in a visit to the country Friday as Manila looks to defend its territorial claims in disputed waters.

Hagel flew into Manila on Thursday amid fresh strains between the Philippines and China over disputes in the South China Sea, with President Benigno Aquino calling off a visit to Beijing next week at China’s request.

The Philippines has accused Beijing of an arms buildup and coercive moves in the strategic South China Sea, which is believed to hold unexploited oil and gas deposits.

China, after asking President Aquino to call off his visit, cited “difficulties” in relations with the Philippines.

Manila has sought out military assistance from Washington, including ships and radar, to better monitor coastal waters and fend off what it alleges is a Chinese bid to gradually seize control of disputed islets.

During his visit, Hagel is expected to discuss a proposed agreement to permit more American troops, ships and aircraft to pass through the Philippines on temporary deployments, officials said.

Hagel will hold talks with President Aquino before meeting his counterpart, Voltaire Gazmin, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, officials said.

Hagel flew to Manila on Thursday at the end of a week-long tour of Southeast Asia in which an escalating US confrontation with Syria has repeatedly intruded on his trip.

The defense secretary’s discussions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei over the past week have focused on bolstering US military ties in a region facing growing tensions over maritime disputes.

At a gathering this week in Brunei of defence ministers from Southeast Asia and other countries, Hagel warned his counterparts that attempts to assert territorial claims “increase the risk of confrontation, undermine regional stability, and dim the prospects for diplomacy”.

The Philippines once hosted tens of thousands of US soldiers at two bases near Manila, but they were forced to leave in 1992 after the Philippine Senate voted to end their lease contracts amid strong anti-American sentiment.

A new accord in 1999 allowed US troops to return to the Philippines for joint military exercises every year.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: China , Chuck Hagel , conflicts , Defense , Diplomacy , Military , Philippines , US



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Bad weather halts rescue after deadliest Everest disaster
  • Gigi Reyes has no other option but to turn state witness — Santiago
  • US weighing military exercises in Eastern Europe
  • Rains loom in Surigao as LPA nears
  • Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week
  • Sports

  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace