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The Nikkei View

US and Philippines must maintain alliance to avert power vacuum

Bilateral pact crucial in checking China's expansion in disputed South China Sea

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, left, and his Philippine counterpart, Delfin Lorenzana, shake hands after their meeting in Quezon City, in Metro Manila, on July 30.    © AP

After much speculation, the Philippines has chosen to keep in place the agreement that defines the legal status of U.S. military forces in the country. The decision to maintain the core element of the bilateral alliance is a welcome development in checking China's militarization of the South China Sea.

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