During his recent visit to the Asia-Pacific from April 9 - 18, 2016, Secretary of Defense Ashton "Ash" Carter held a joint press conference with Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar to announce that the United States and India have "agreed in principle" on finalizing a Logistical Support Agreement (LAS) and Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). He also revealed for the first time that the United States has been conducting joint naval patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea.
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- "China says U.S.-Philippine joint patrols in South China Sea triggered tension." Xinhua. April 15, 2016
"This move by the United States and the Philippines has poisoned relations between countries in the region, aggravated regional disputes, triggered tensions and undermined peace and stability in the South China Sea. It just goes to show who the real backstage planner of the militarization of the South China Sea is." - Lu Kang, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, People's Republic of China
- "China urges US-Philippines military cooperation not to aim at others." Xinhua. April 15, 2016
"The joint patrols between the United States and the Philippines in the South China Sea has led to militarization in the region, which is harmful to regional peace and stability." - Chinese Defense Ministry statement
- "Raising sea tensions serves Pentagon's ends." Zhang Junshe. Global Times. April 11, 2016
"The US is actually seeking to justify and expand its military presence in the Asia-Pacific through stirring up tensions in the South China Sea. It also aims to pursue maritime hegemony [...] and contain a rising China."
- "America sadly doesn't see India as a political equal." Manmohan Bahadur. The Northlines. April 20, 2016
"India can become indispensable only as a political equal and whose services can blend seamlessly with the US."
- "ChIndUS: Dangle The Triangle - India and China can both be US partners without being its cat's paw or dogsbody." Chidanand Rajghatta. The Times of India. April 20, 2016
"So India need not hold back in its ties with US over worries regarding China. In fact, a solid US-India partnership will help evaporate misgivings on all sides. The lines will be clear."
- "Congress Opposes Logistics Support Agreement with US." The New Indian Express. April 14, 2016
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government do not have a national mandate to push India into a situation where it sinks in a closer, deeper military alliance and becomes part of a larger operational design and requirement of the US in Asia and [the] Pacific and South China Sea." - Anand Sharma, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha [Council of States, Upper House of Parliament of India]
- "India-US: A Win-Win Partnership." Mayuri Mukherjee. The Pioneer. April 14, 2016
"India needn't sign America's template documents; instead, as it has done with the LSA [Logistics Supply Agreement], it should work with the US [...] and find the middle path that best suits its interests."
- "India-US defence partnership: Making haste, slowly." C. Raja Mohan. The Indian Express. April 14, 2016
"The good news is that the Narendra Modi government has the political self-confidence to sign an apparently controversial agreement with the United States. The bad news is that India, as a collective, has taken more than a decade to decide 'in principle' on a fairly straightforward agreement with America."
- "Indo-US strategic relationship: Why the balance is not in India's favour." Lt. Gen. Prakash Chand Katoch. Firstpost.com. April 14, 2016
"[US Secretary of Defense Ash] Carter talked of the US Rebalance to Asia and the Pacific and India's 'Act East' policy coinciding in the Indo-Pacific region [... but] while there is mention of the Indo-Pacific, the US emphasis remains primarily on SCS [South China Sea] and North Korea while India's strategic concerns especially along her western and north-western flank are grossly neglected."
- "Bharat Matters ki Jai: Is a deepening partnership with US worth the risk of irking China?" Seema Sirohi. The Economic Times. April 13, 2016
"It's a bolder India less afraid of power games: if you don't play, you can't win. A stronger relationship with the US improves the odds. Modi doesn't want India to sit out the game and hope for the best."
- "The Strategic Imperative: Benefits outweigh costs of India, US intimacies." Raja Menon. The Indian Express. April 13, 2016
"For India to play a level game with China, we need asymmetrical advantage. [...] This is where diplomacy comes in, and diplomacy comes with a price. In this case, the price of the benefits of US technology is not too high."
- "Ajai Shukla: Get real in US-India defence ties." Ajai Shukla. Business Standard. April 11, 2016
"Sure, the US wants to build up India and its military [...to] share the burden of regional security. Yes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Act East' policy aligns with the Obama administration's 'rebalance to Asia.' Even so, most insiders sum up the strategic relationship thus: convergence to the east, divergence to the west."
- "Indeed, US bases' removal in 1992 a 'magnificent' decision." Salvador France. Inquirer.net. April 26, 2016
Author debates claims made by H.E. Hermenegildo C. Cruz in the op-ed "What's magnificent about withdrawal of US bases?" on the detriments of closing the US bases in 1992.
- "China misunderstands Philippines-US military activities." Aurea Calica. The Philippine Star. April 17, 2016
"We believe that the People's Republic of China through its statements misunderstands or perhaps does not properly appreciate the purpose of our activities with the United States. There are to ensure freedom of navigation in the region which benefits all nations because it allows the free, unhampered flow of trade which is to the benefit of all economies in the region." - Manuel Quezon III, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary, Philippines
- "What's magnificent about withdrawal of US bases?" Hermenegildo C. Cruz. Inquirer.net. April 11, 2016
"It is taught in any course in diplomacy that we live in a lawless world. A country must have adequate arms to defend its territorial integrity. A defenseless country invites aggression. When the 12 senators voted to oust the US bases in 1992, they should have taken the compensatory steps to increasing the defense budget."
- "Journeyto30 Shoulder - to - Shoulder with Uncle Sam." Epi Fabonan III. The Philippine Star. April 10, 2016
"Our relationship with the US is something that will definitely not deteriorate in the coming years, given our shared history. However, it promotes a dependence [...] that a sovereign and independent nation like the Philippines shouldn't tolerate."
- "What do we get from the US?" Business Mirror. April 7, 2016
Commentator cautions the candidates in the Philippines 2016 Election about how to proceed on the Philippines' bilateral relationship with the United States.
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