2014-04-27T101416Z_1_CBREA3Q0SG200_RTROPTP_2_PHILIPPINES-CHINA-REEF

Philippines, U.S. to sign new 10-year military pact, part of U.S. pivot

Members of Philippine marines are transported on rubber boat from patrol ship after conducting mission on disputed Second Thomas Shoal as they make way to naval forces camp in PalawanThe United States and the Philippines will sign a new security pact on Monday allowing American forces an increased military presence in the Southeast Asian country now struggling to raise its defense capabilities amid territorial disputes with China. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation agreement will run for 10 years, shorter than what the United States was originally asking for, two senior government officials said on Sunday, asking for anonymity due to lack of authority to speak on details of the pact. The pact will be signed just a few hours before U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Manila, as part of Obama’s week-long tour of four Asian allies. The agreement allows the United States to rotate ships, aircraft and troops for a period longer than the current maximum of two weeks during joint military exercises by the two nations, a senior military source told Reuters.

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