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South China Sea

Philippines notifies US it will keep military deal as tensions rise

Washington welcomes Duterte's move and vows to continue defense cooperation

An E-2C Hawkeye prepares to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Philippine Sea on May 26. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

MANILA -- The Philippines will continue its visiting forces agreement with the U.S. for the near future, suspending an earlier decision to scrap the major military deal amid China's renewed muscle-flexing in the South China Sea.

"The abrogation of the visiting forces agreement has been suspended" upon President Rodrigo Duterte's instruction, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said Tuesday on Twitter.

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