The Philippines has received increased military aid from the United States amounting to $79 million for this year alone. The aid arrived as tensions over South China Sea escalate. China had just deployed its largest warship to transport more military weapons, even warplanes over the contested region.
“We have upped our foreign military funding for the Philippines. It will be somewhere in the range of $79 million this year. It’s increasing and what has been proposed is something called a maritime security initiative in the region,” Ambassador Philip Goldberg was quoted as saying by Reuters. The U.S. has been providing the Philippines with military aid amounting to nearly $500 million and other military weapons, the ambassador said.
The monetary aid was announced after President Barack Obama’s gift of third Hamilton-class coast guard cutter, two U.S. Marines C-130 transport planes and eight amphibious assault vehicle. All these were announced ahead of the recently held APEC 2015 in the Philippines where Mr. Obama also stressed America’s commitment in supporting the Philippines’ territorial claim over South China Sea.
China, meanwhile, deployed its largest warship in the South China Sea. The vessel is 90 meters long and has a full-load capacity of 2,700 metric tons. According to PLA Daily, it is the largest of its kind in the Chinese army. Fighter jets can take off and land on the ship. Its deployment in the South China Sea is the first time the PLA Army had such a large-scale vessel over the contested region.