The United States continues to enhance military cooperation with Southeast Asian nations, announcing on January 27, 2011 it will help boost the Philippines' capacity to patrol its waters.
This will help the countries reach the larger goal of keeping Asian sea lanes open amidst concerns that they are threatened by a rising China.
US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell announced the pledge at a joint news conference during an inaugural security dialogue between the two allies.
The pledge comes during a time of renewed tensions in the South China Sea, with China recently calling the area a "core interest". In the past 12 months, the US has lifted sanctions on military cooperation with Indonesia and has participated in unprecedented naval drills with Vietnam.
US pledges help for Philippine navy [AFP, Channel NewsAsia, 28 Jan 2011]