A U.S. navy sailor watches the USS Juneau arrive from the flight deck of the USS Essex at the former American Naval Base Subic Bay, north west of Manila October 17, 2006.REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
WSJ: Philippines Suspends Patrols With U.S. in South China Sea
Step, while small, is first sign of split in alliance since election of President Rodrigo Duterte.
MANILA—The Philippine defense chief said Friday that he had suspended participation in any joint patrols with the U.S. of the disputed South China Sea, the first concrete sign of a crack in the military alliance following the election of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also said he also would ask a small detachment of American troops providing counterterrorism assistance on the southern island of Mindanao to leave as the president requested. But he said that would happen only after the Philippine military can carry out such operations on its own, something that could take years.
Since taking office June 30, Mr. Duterte has caught U.S. officials and his own military off guard with seemingly off-the-cuff pronouncements with potentially far-reaching strategic implications. His aim, he said, is to loosen ties with the U.S. and give his Southeast Asian country a more “independent” foreign policy, with “new alliances” with China and Russia.
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More News On The Philippines Formally Suspending Joint South China Sea Patrols With The U.S.
Philippines tells US no joint patrols in South China Sea -- AP
Philippines tells US no more joint sea patrols -- AFP
Duterte orders halt to US-Philippines military drill amid leanings towards China -- IBTimes
Philippines: South China Sea Drills With U.S. Put On Hold, Defense Minister Says -- Stratfor