China’s growing military power, and the increasing nuclear threat from North Korea, has seen the US turn more of its attention toward Asia.
Recent military exercises by the US and the Philippines in the South China Sea's disputed Spratly Islands have threatened to challenge the Asia-Pacific balance of power.
The US has followed those joint exercises with similar drills with Vietnamese troops off the western Philippines.
With top level US-Philippine security talks scheduled for Monday in Washington, the standoff between Beijing and Manila over disputed territorial waters, and the modernisation of the Philippines' military with the help of the US, are likely to be high on the agenda.
Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from Manila.