Significant defence deal inked between Philippines and US
The Philippines and the United States inked a 10-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to allow a bigger US military presence on Filipino territory. This pact would would give U.S. forces temporary access to selected military camps and allow them to pre-position fighter jets and ships. It allows more US troops into the Philippines for joint military training exercises, but will not permit Washington to set up a permanent base in the Philippines or bring in nuclear weapons to the country.
Strategic importance of the Philippines and US deal:
The Philippines and China are locked in a dispute over the territorial ownership of atolls in the South China Sea, part of a proliferation of maritime hotspots that has stirred up Asian tensions. In the Philippine there are negative sentiments against China which accused of being increasingly aggressive in asserting its claims to the sea. In the wake of these developments, the Philippines has called on the US for greater military as well as diplomatic support. With surging regional uneasiness over the implications of China’s rise, the Philippines has sought greater military ties with the US in recent years.