Manila says it will not help U.S. on pa­trols in South China Sea

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

MANILA | The Philip­pines de­fense sec­re­tary said Thurs­day it is highly un­likely his coun­try will al­low the U.S. mil­i­tary to use it as a spring­board for free­dom-of-nav­i­ga­tion pa­trols in the dis­puted South China Sea to avoid an­tag­o­niz­ing China.

Delfin Loren­zana said U.S. ships and air­craft could use bases in Guam, Ok­i­nawa or fly from air­craft carriers to pa­trol the dis­puted wa­ters.

Un­der Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s pre­de­ces­sor, Benigno Aquino III, some U.S. air­craft and ships stopped in the Philip­pines on the way to pa­trolling the dis­puted wa­ters to chal­lenge China’s ter­ri­to­rial claims. Mr. Duterte, who took of­fice in June, has taken steps to mend ties with China and be­came hos­tile to­ward the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion af­ter it raised con­cerns over Mr. Duterte’s deadly crack­down on il­le­gal drugs.

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