Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Tacloban, one of the hardest-hit cities by Typhoon Haiyan. In his first day in the Philippines, Mr. Kerry focused on economic and security matters, with China’s military assertiveness in the South China Sea never far from the spotlight.
The US is giving the Philippines $40 million to strengthen its ability to protect its territorial waters and combat terrorism. Mr. Kerry, citing a fight between the Philippines and China over disputed waters, sided with the Philippines preferred means of settlement international arbitration rather than bilateral negotiations.
Kerry said he discussed with Philippine political leaders ways to expand and increase economic and trade cooperation between the U.S. and the Philippines, including the possibility of the Philippines joining in the unfolding Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.