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Philippines eyes submarine fleet amid South China sea conflict

The Philippines is now planning to invest in its submarine fleet program to help protects its territory in the disputed South China Sea, President Aquino said.

The President added that the Philippines may lose control of its entire west coast if China succeed in enforcing its claim.

"We've had to accelerate the modernization of our armed forces for self-defense needs," He told reporters.

China has reclaimed more than 2,900 acres (1,174 hectares) from the South China Sea in less than two years in an intensive island-building campaign, and has deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, according to report.

Despite Aquino's effort to raise defense spending to record levels, this year China's proposed defense spending of USD147 billion is about 59 times that of the Philippines.

The Philippines has turned to its longtime ally the United States and former wartime foe Japan to boost its military hardware in order to counter China.

A senior official of the U.S Defense Department said Tuesday that Japan is in talks with the Philippines about participating in joint drills with the United States on a regular basis.

The Philippines has also asked the United Nations-backed arbitration body to declare China's sea claims as illegal, with the decision expected next month.
It was reported that as part of Japan's military assistance and soft loan package to the Philippines, Japan is now considering the request of the Philippine government to sell them 2 Soryu-class submarines made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation.

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