US not to seek permanent base in Philippines
Updated: 2013-08-30 16:14
MANILA - Visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday that Washington is not seeking a permanent basing in the Philippines in its ongoing efforts to increase rotational presence in the region.
"United States does not seek permanent bases in the Philippines. That would represent a return to an outdated cold war mentality," Hagel said at a press conference after a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III in Malacanang, the seat of presidential palace.
"Instead, we're using a new model of military-to-military cooperating befitting two great allies and friends. I'm looking to increase our rotational presence here as we have done recently in Singapore and Australia," Hagel said.
He said Washington is seeking to increase its military presence in the Philippines and working hard on a new framework agreement that will strengthen cooperation between the two countries and the modernization agenda of the Aquino administration.
"The United States has a great deal of experience in building a modern military and we would like to share what we've learned with our Filipino allies," Hagel said.
Hagel also reiterated the US stance that the territorial dispute in the South China Sea be peacefully resolved and without any coercion.