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US military to increase presence in Philippines as tensions with China simmer

Published on Dec 12, 2012 4:40 PM

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

Senior US 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 defence and diplomatic officials said they expected to see more US ships, aircraft and troops for training exercises and disaster and relief operations.

"What we are discussing right now is increasing the rotational presence of US forces," Carlos Sorreta, the foreign ministry's Assistant Secretary for American Affairs, told reporters.

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