We share values, economic interests, a strong military alliance, and a genuine cultural affinity, all of which grow with each passing year.In the dynamic and fast-growing political and economic environment in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia is uniquely positioned to work with the United States in addressing shared challenges.An international court in July ruled against China's sweeping South China Sea claims, prompting a furious reaction from Beijing, which promptly vowed to ignore the decision.- Returning jihadists -Carter's trip to Hawaii comes with less than four months of the Obama administration remaining.A key question will be future plans for America's "rebalance" to Asia, during which Obama has tried to shift the US focus away from Middle East quagmires and toward rapidly growing Asia.He has mended relations with Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos while bolstering regional blocs and providing a counterbalance to China's regional ambitions.Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines recently agreed to conduct joint sea patrols to fight piracy, organized crime, and terrorist activity in the Sulu Sea.“That has been very disappointing from Australia’s point of view,” Moshirian said.
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The US-Philippine alliance has "had its ups and downs and survived," one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter."It's going to continue to survive based on what we think are strong US-Philippine common security interests."As for the military exercises, "we can be flexible about when and if they happen again," the official added.- South China Sea -Carter is set to meet his Philippine counterpart, Delfin Lorenzana, in Hawaii on Friday, where the Pentagon chief is hosting an "informal" meeting for defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Previous summits have tended to focus on China and its growing reach across the South China Sea.
Such a move could further dampen relations with Manila's longtime ally after the firebrand leader -- who has also called for US special operations forces in the country's south to leave -- branded US President Barack Obama a "son of a whore" and extended overtures to China.
But senior defense officials later appeared philosophical about Duterte's outbursts.