WASHINGTON (AP) — The Philippines is asking for more U.S. military hardware and says it's in Washington's strategic interest to help.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Wednesday the Philippines is requesting patrol vessels and aircraft, radar systems and coast watch stations.
His comments come after high-level talks in Washington this week, and amid a continuing standoff between the Philippines and China at a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.
Del Rosario told the Heritage Foundation think tank it was in other nations' interest to support the Philippines in standing up for freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce.
He said the U.S. needs a stronger ally to help guarantee stability in the Asia-Pacific so it should "invest in the development of the Philippines' defense and military capability."