South China Sea dispute: US boosts military presence in Philippines

World Today

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter revealed that both the U.S. and the Philippines have been conducting joint patrols in the South China sea since last month, during his trip to the region.

The Pentagon Chief also announced some U.S. troops will stay behind, after joint exercises end.

CCTV America’s Nathan King reports from Washington, DC.

South China Sea dispute: US boosts military presence in Philippines

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter revealed that both the U.S. and the Philippines have been conducting joint patrols in the South China sea since last month, during his trip to the region. The Pentagon Chief also announced some U.S. troops will stay behind, after joint exercises end. CCTV's Nathan King reports from Washington, DC.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense says that a force of 300 U.S. troops – including air force commandos, combat aircraft and helicopters – will remain behind through the end of April.

This comes after Manila asked Washington to help convince China not to assert its sovereignty rights over Huangyan Island, which the Philippines calls Scarborough Shoal.

These moves are on top of the recently inked enhanced security agreement with the Philippines. That agreement gives the U.S. access to five bases in its former colony卆s well as rights to rotate in ships and aircraft.

The U.S. will also continue so-called “freedom of navigation operations,” which involve U.S. Navy ships intentionally sailing within 12 nautical miles of islands and features claimed by China, a zone traditionally used to define maritime boundaries.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls this hypocritical. Both nations have accused Beijing of militarizing the South China Sea, but China says this is exactly what the U.S. and its allies are doing.