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Mideast problems hamper US security pivot to Asia

This April 28, 2014, file photo shows US President Barack Obama toasting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, right, during a state dinner at Malacanang Palace in Manila, following the signing of the Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. The Obama administration is still chipping away at its grand plan for a rebalance to Asia that began within months of Obama taking office in 2009, when the US signed a cooperation treaty with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.  AP PHOTO/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

A military agreement with the Philippines and easing an arms embargo against Vietnam show the Obama administration wants deeper security ties with Asia, even as turmoil in the Mideast has undermined its hope of making Asia the heart of its foreign policy.

Posted: October 6th, 2014 in Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »

US lifts 40-year arms ban to boost Vietnam sea defense

In this May 7, 2014 file photo released by Vietnam Coast Guard, a Chinese ship, left, shoots water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel, right, while a Chinese Coast Guard ship, center, sails alongside in the South China Sea, off Vietnam's coast as Chinese ships are ramming at Vietnamese vessels trying to stop Beijing from setting up an oil rig in the sea. AP FILE PHOTO

In a decision likely to anger China, the US is partly lifting a 40-year ban on arms sales to former foe Vietnam to help boost defenses in the tense South China Sea.

Posted: October 3rd, 2014 in Asia & Pacific,Features,Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »

Japan eases visa requirements for Filipinos

Mt. Fuji

Japan has started its “substantial relaxation’’ of visa requirements for nationals from the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam to lure more tourists into the East Asian country.

Posted: October 2nd, 2014 in Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »

Asia arms up to counter growing Chinese might

In this May 24, 2014 photo, China's Harbin (112) guided missile destroyer, left, and DDG-139 Ningbo Sovremenny class Type-956EM destroyer, right, take part in a week-long China-Russia "Joint Sea-2014" navy exercise at the East China Sea off Shanghai, China. Several Asian nations are arming up, their wary eyes fixed squarely on one country: a resurgent China that’s boldly asserting its territorial claims all along the East Asian coast. The scramble to spend more defense dollars comes amid spats with China over contested reefs and waters. Other Asian countries such as India and South Korea are quickly modernizing their forces, although their disputes with China have stayed largely at the diplomatic level. AP

Vietnam has nearly doubled its military spending, Japan is requesting its biggest-ever defense budget and the Philippines is rushing to piece together a viable navy.

Posted: September 11th, 2014 in Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »

34 Filipinos to compete in skills Olympics


The Philippines will send a 34-member delegation to compete in next month’s 10th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Skills Competition in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Posted: September 8th, 2014 in Latest Global Nation Stories | Read More »