Philippines eyes greater US military presence amid China tensions
MANILA (AFP) - US and Philippine officials will meet this week to discuss expanding American presence in the Asian nation, a senior diplomat said, amid tensions with China over its claims to vast waters in the region.
The meetings in Manila on Tuesday and Wednesday will have a special focus on defence and regional matters, Philippine Assistant Secretary for US affairs Carlos Sorreta told reporters.
"Foremost in the agenda is the increased rotational presence" of US forces in the Philippines, he said on Monday.
This refers to US troops and ships passing through the country for training or exercises, circumventing a constitutional ban on foreign bases in the Philippines.