Per U.S. and Philippines officials, negotiations in allowing U.S. to position military equipment and rotating personnel in the Philippines while avoiding the controversial issue of re-establishing American bases in the country.

The negotiations for increased military access by the United States take place against the backdrop of simmering tensions between the Philippines and China over areas in the South China Sea claimed by both countries. The Philippines, which has a small navy and air force, is relying on support from the United States to modernize its military and upgrade its capabilities. Part of this military relationship has involved regular short-term visits by American military forces for joint training, humanitarian work and disaster response.

The arrangement under negotiation now would allow American forces to visit for longer periods of time and be stationed on Philippine military bases. It would also allow American military equipment to be based in the Philippines, officials said.


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