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US backs Philippines over China tensions


The United States has said it is ready to provide new hardware to the Philippine military as Manila vowed to "stand up to any aggressive action" amid rising tensions at sea with China.

Foreign secretary Albert del Rosario, visiting Washington, said the Philippines hoped to lease equipment to upgrade its aged fleet and called for the countries to revamp their relationship.

"We are determined and committed to supporting the defence of the Philippines," Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, told a joint news conference when asked about the hardware wishlist from the Philippines.

Clinton said the two nations were working "to determine what are the additional assets that the Philippines needs and how we can best provide those".

She said del Rosario would meet defense secretary Robert Gates and other Pentagon officials, according to the Associated Press news agency.

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