Although Philippine President Benigno Aquino III visited China in August at the request of President Hu Jintao, tensions between not only the Philippines but Brunei,Malaysia and Vietnam versus China over the South China Sea remain high.
A week before his departure, Aquino toured a new addition as the Philippines took delivery of a decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard cutter as part of a drive to modernize its navy amid tensions with China and re-commissioned it as the Gregorio del Pilar.
Although 46 years old, the 3,390-ton warship is the most capable in the Philippine navy that is comprised of aging World War II vessels. The current flagship, a former American destroyer, is among the oldest active warships in the world.
The U.S. has promised to help the Philippines modernize its fleet amid recent tensions with China over the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.. ..........
Not to be outdone by the Philippines,Vietnam received a second Russian-made guided missile warship as tensions over disputed islands in the South China Sea continue, state media reported in August.
Taking the delivery of the frigate marked a “new development” in improving “the combative strength as well as the capability of managing and defending the country’s sea sovereignty,” the paper quoted navy commander Nguyen Van Hien as saying.
Vietnam took the delivery of the first warship of this kind in March.
In mid-August the government pledged to continue talks with Aung San Suu Kyi and to allow a visit by a UN human rights envoy.
His comments came shortly before Suu Kyi held a second round of talks with labor minister Aung Kyi in Yangon that she later said had covered “all sectors.”
Kyaw Hsan earlier said the government would “continue these kinds of meetings for the benefit of the people” at the first media briefing in the capital Naypyidaw since taking power...........
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