Obama offers SE Asian allies military aid as China tensions rise

US President Barack Obama (R) speaks following a tour of the BRP Gregario Del Pilar in Manila Harbor on November 17, 2015 after arriving to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) SummitUS President Barack Obama on Tuesday offered the Philippines a warship as part of a $250-million aid package to Southeast Asian allies worried about Chinese efforts to control the South China Sea. Obama made the pledges aboard the Philippine Navy’s flagship, shortly after arriving in Manila for a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders to also be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping. “My visit here underscores our shared commitment to the security of the waters of this region and to the freedom of navigation,” Obama said as he announced the assistance.

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