The US and the Philippines have announced plans to expand America’s military presence in the country as they seek to deter China’s increasing assertiveness.
Philippines agrees to larger US military presence
The Philippines has granted the United States expanded access to its military bases, the countries say, amid mounting concern over China’s increasing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea and tensions over self-ruled Taiwan.
Statements from the defence ministries of both countries said Washington would be given access to four more locations under an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) dating to 2014.
The United States had allocated more than $US82 million ($A116 million) towards infrastructure investments at the existing five sites under the EDCA, the statements said on Thursday.
EDCA allows US access to Philippine military bases for joint training, pre-positioning of equipment and the building of facilities such as runways, fuel storage and military housing, but not a permanent presence.