US to send $40-M military aid to PH

QUEZON CITY. Lt. Gen. John Toolan [center], U.S. Commander of U.S. Marine forces in the Pacific, chats with Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez [right], following the opening ceremony of their annual joint military exercise, dubbed Balikatan 2016 (Shoulder-to-Shoulder), Monday, April 4, 2016 at Camp Aguinaldo. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON — United States (US) Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the US will send about $40 million in military assistance to the Philippines to strengthen intelligence sharing, surveillance and naval patrols. The aid comes amid increasing tensions with China over undeveloped islands and shoals in the region.

Carter tells the Council on Foreign Relations that the aid will take the alliance to a new level.

Officials recently announced that the U.S. will get access to five Philippine military bases to house American forces that will rotate in and out of the country for training and other missions.

Carter said he will visit two of those bases next week.

The new aid will include an enhanced information network for classified communications, sensors for patrol vessels and an unmanned aerostat reconnaissance airship. (AP)

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