Pentagon boss visiting Manila

MANILA-BOUND: US Defense Chief Chuck Hagel. AFP photo

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be in Manila on August 29 and 30 to conclude his week-long Southeast Asian trip meant to stress Washington’s strategic “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific. He earlier met with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and his defense counterparts in the two countries to discuss military cooperation against the backdrop of security issues in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea.) From Jakarta, Hagel jumped to Brunei on Wednesday for the ASEAN Defense Ministers annual retreat. The US pivot to Asia-Pacific means a resurgence of US warships and planes, which is believed to be a move aimed to contain China’s aggression. All 4 countries have territorial claims that overlaps with China’s.

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