Philippines to End Military Pact With U.S. by Jon Emont – Wall Street Journal
The Philippines told the U.S. it would scrap an agreement considered a cornerstone of the two countries’ military alliance, a move the U.S. State Department said would have serious implications for the relationship.
The Visiting Forces Agreement, signed in 1998, facilitates the visits of U.S. troops, ships and aircraft to the Philippines. It has provided the foundation for American soldiers to train Filipino troops, conduct joint exercises and assist in counterterrorism.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office in 2016, has moved his country away from the U.S. and favored close ties with China, playing down territorial and maritime disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea. His office said Tuesday that Mr. Duterte wants to chart an independent foreign policy and “believes that our country cannot forever rely on other countries for the defense of the state.”…