Security tops agenda for Obama's Philippines visit

As part of his four-country tour of Asia, Obama will visit the Philippines Monday. He's expected to highlight the importance of security cooperation and the Philippines' strategic role in the region.

Bullit Marquez/AP
Protesters display placards during a rally at the US Embassy against a visit of US President Barack Obama Wednesday, April 23, 2014 in Manila, Philippines. Obama arrives in Manila on Monday for an overnight stop after visiting Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia.

For President Obama and the Philippines, it’s better late than never.

More than six months after the federal government shutdown led the president to cancel a swing through the Asia-Pacific region – setting off alarm bells in Asian capitals – Obama will touch down in Manila Monday, April 28, for the last leg of his four-nation Asian tour that begins this week.

The visits to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines are designed to show the continuing US commitment to the region amid China’s rising might. A long-standing treaty ally of the United States, the Philippines has been on the front line of China’s assertive moves in the South China Sea, and has called for regional intervention.

“I think Obama has to go there for purely political reasons,” says our correspondent on the ground in the region, and show the Philippines that “this is still a priority for the US, despite Ukraine, despite the Middle East.”

As part of his visit. Obama will view a new electronic vehicle produced in the Philippines and backed by a US company, the White House said earlier this week. 

But unlike some of his other visits in the region, there is not expected to be much of a business component to Obama’s Manila trip.... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.

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