The U.S. has secured access to four additional military bases in the Philippines, allowing it to monitor Chinese movements in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.
The U.S. already had limited access to five sites under the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)
The additional locations bring to nine the number of military bases the U.S. would have access to. Washington had announced it was allocating more than $82 million toward infrastructure investments at the existing sites.
Signed in 2014, the EDCA allows U.S. forces to construct facilities, bring equipment, and hold joint training exercises in mutually agreed-upon bases in the Philippines.
The deal allows the U.S. to rotate troops into the Philippines for extended stays but does not grant them a permanent presence.
The Philippines is one of America’s oldest treaty allies, but relations turned cold under former president Rodrigo Duterte as he sought friendlier ties with China.