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U.S., Philippines Sign Defense Pact Amid China Tensions

The Philippines and the U.S. signed an agreement that will boost the American troop presence in the Southeast Asian nation, as President Barack Obama said America’s strategic rebalancing to Asia isn’t aimed at combating a rising China.

“Our goal is not to counter China, our goal is not to contain China,” Obama said at a briefing today in Manila, hours after the 10-year defense agreement was signed. “Our goal is to make sure that international rules and norms are respected and that includes in the area of maritime disputes.”