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Manila seeks larger allies amid maritime face-off with Beijing

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A U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft is seen at a base in the western Philippines on June 24.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Some say the Philippines is to China as a minnow is to a shark. The Southeast Asian country has minimal military muscle, yet it is locked in a territorial dispute with Beijing over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. To shore up its position, Manila is increasing cooperation with Washington and Tokyo. 

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