MANILA, April 28 (UPI) -- The United States and the Philippines reached a 10-year agreement that will allow American troops and military material greater access to bases in the Philippines, American officials said in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The agreement will give the United States a visible presence in the country for the first time since the American military abandoned its naval and air bases there in 1992.
“We’re not doing this because of China. We’re doing this because we have a longstanding alliance partner," said Even Medeiros, the National Security Council’s senior director for Asian Affairs.
Tension between China and its neighbors has been growing recently over territorial claims over the waters that separate them.
The American presence in the Philippines was also a source of tension between the two countries, but the rapid response of American ships and planes after Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 has increased popular support for a renewed U.S. presence.
Medeiros added the scope of the use of bases by U.S. troops has not yet been determined, and may include use of the massive former base at Subic Bay. He emphasized the deal would not lead to the re-establishment of formal U.S. bases.