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South China Sea Controversy: US To Deploy More Troops At 5 Philippine Bases Near Disputed Spratly Islands

By Vishakha Sonawane

22 March 2016

...“I suspect that it will ramp up slowly,” Jan van Tol, a retired U.S. Navy captain and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, told Air Force Times. “A suddenly much larger U.S. presence, even if just a rotational presence, that can be seen ... in Beijing, that this is a ratcheting up of a U.S.-Chinese competition in the South China Sea.” Van Tol also noted the Antonio Bautista Air Base’s strategic location near the Spratlys. “That puts them much closer to the scene where the Chinese are using what we consider to be illegitimate activities,” he reportedly said...

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