Will the Philippines form part of the U.S.'s missile defense system in Asia?
According to a report on the Wall Street Journal, the Philippines may be used as a site for a powerful radar called the X-band. The third X-Band is meant to complete a radar arc that will allow the U.S. to keep track of missile launches from North Korea and from China.
An X-Band radar has been in place in northern Japan since 2006 and the Wall Street Journal report said Washington and Tokyo are already in talks to put up another one in southern Japan.
"Some U.S. defense officials have focused on the Philippines as the potential site for the third X-Band," the WSJ report said.
Another X-Band radar, a seaborne one docked in Pearl Harbor, was deployed to the Pacific to monitor North Korea's failed missile launch earlier this year.
The report follows a decision made by the U.S. to shift a majority of its warships to the Asia-Pacific region by 2020. It aims to bring 60 percent of its battle ships to the region.
The U.S. has military agreements with the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Australia.
The Philippines called on its Southeast Asian neighbours to unite in urging China to halt reclamation of land in the South China Sea, but the call failed to raise widespread support ahead of a regional summit. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas. Its claims overlap with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Recent satellite images suggest China has made rapid progress in filling in land in contested territory …