Boats at Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea are shown in this handout photo provided by Planet Labs, and captured on March 12, 2016. REUTERS/Planet Labs/Handout via Reuters
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The Philippines Sunday hailed a new accord giving the U.S. military access to five of its bases, saying this would strengthen its defensive capabilities and maritime security.Under the agreement, U.S. forces would be able to rotate through five Philippine bases including those close to the South China Sea.Philippine and U.S. officials meeting in Washington Friday announced that they had agreed to the rotation of U.S. military personnel under the Enhanced Defense Co-operation Agreement, which went into effect last January.Press reports quoted U.S. ambassador Philip Goldberg as saying in Washington that U.S. personnel and equipment would arrive "very soon".Philippine officials said they did not know when the U.S. forces would arrive.
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