DHAKA: The US military said on Tuesday it planned to help the Philippines monitor its coastal waters as Manila faces an escalating dispute with China over territorial claims.
The Pentagon revised earlier comments and said there was no firm plan to deliver land-based radar to the Philippines, but that radar could be part of future assistance.
"We are in the initial planning stages of assisting the Philippines with a National Coast Watch Centre," Major Catherine Wilkinson told AFP.
The centre is designed "to create an overall picture of what is going on in the Philippines` territorial waters," she said.
"Right now we are discussing a range of options and no details have been finalised. Radars may be an eventual part of the package but it hasn`t been determined yet."
The cost and the time line for the project were still being worked out, she said.
The Philippines has requested radar, patrol aircraft and naval vessels as it seeks to bolster its position in a row with China over the Scarborough Shoal, which lies near the main Philippine island of Luzon.
China claims the area along with virtually all of the South China Sea up to the shores of other Southeast Asian nations, including Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The Pentagon`s comments came after President Benigno Aquino paid a visit last week to the White House, where he was offered a robust show of support.
BDST: 1235 HRS, JUN 13, 2012
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