The United States is seeking to expand its military presence in the Philippines as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris makes a three-day visit to the Southeast Asian country.
Harris pledged on Monday that Washington will defend the Philippines if it comes under attack in the South China Sea, according to Reuters.
Her comments followed a meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who welcomed Harris for the first time at the Philippine presidential palace.
Ahead of Harris' visit, the highest-level trip to the Philippines by a Biden administration official, a Philippine military commander accused a Chinese coast guard ship of “forcefully” retrieving a floating object being towed in the South China Sea by cutting a line attaching it to a boat.
Harris’ visit is seen largely as Washington’s effort to revive ties with Manila, an Asian ally central to U.S. efforts to counter China’s increasingly assertive policies towards Taiwan, Reuters said.
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