On Monday, the U.S. and the Philippines signed a 10-year military accord that will grant American forces greater access to bases in the Philippines. Largely seen as an effort to cement and extend American influence against China's increasing power and aggression in the region, the defense agreement was signed by U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg and Philippines Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. The size and timespan of the American military presence will be determined by the government in Manila, which has been struggling to build and maintain a strong territorial defense against China's increasingly belligerent behavior in the disputed South China Sea.
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