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Philippines grants U.S. military more base access amid China threat

Beijing reacts negatively to deal that boosts Washington's defense posture in Asia

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, meets Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila on Feb. 2.     © Reuters

MANILA -- The U.S. is set to boost its military presence in Asia after it agreed with the Philippines on Thursday to allow the American military access to four more bases in the country.

The agreement, announced during the visit of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Manila, comes amid growing fears over a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan and Beijing's persistent incursions in the disputed South China Sea.

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