Philippines president Beningno Aquino, in a statement on Tuesday, said that his government would allow America and Japan, long time “strategic partners” of successive regimes, exclusive access to former US military bases in the country. This development has provoked reactions from the Chinese, who are currently locked in a maritime dispute with Philippines. AFP reported Chinese general Luo Yuan on Thursday as condemning the increased US-Philippines cooperation.
Philippines is considered by the US as a key strategic base in the Southeast Asian region.
The US has also provided extensive help to Manila in its counterinsurgency operations against the New People’s Army, a Communist rebel movement.
Analysts credit the increased strategic focus of the US in this region as a part of a grant strategy of ‘Look East’ policy in the Pentagon.
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