To balance China's influence, U.S. offers more assistance to the Philippines

  • Updated: December 17, 2013 - 8:46 PM

$40 million in security aid, more U.S. forces offered.

– Secretary of State John Kerry said here Tuesday that the United States would give the Philippines $40 million in maritime security assistance and that it was negotiating with Manila to rotate more U.S. military forces through the country.

The moves are the latest signs of Obama administration concerns about growing pressure by China on its neighbors.

Kerry took pains not to portray the steps as direct responses to recent difficulties in Chinese-U.S. relations.

Still, they signal that the United States may not back down quickly as China grows more assertive in claiming islands, airspace, and ocean expanses in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

“The United States strongly opposes the use of intimidation, coercion or aggression to advance territorial claims,” Kerry said. “The United States remains firmly committed to the security of the Philippines.”

Kerry and Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert F. del Rosario criticized China’s recent declaration of an air defense zone over East China Sea space previously monitored by Japan and South Korea.

New York Times

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