U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday China must stop land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to the defence and security of the Philippines, one of the parties to the dispute.

Obama, speaking after a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Manila, said he looked forward to working with all claimants to the waterway to resolve their disputes.

On Tuesday, Obama visited an American-donated coast guard cutter now owned by the Philippines, one its closest allies in the region.

us south china sea
Amphibious assault vehicles from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver LPD 9 participate in an amphibious exercise in the South China Sea. File photo: Wikicommons.

Trans-Pacific Partnership
Obama also said on Wednesday that work towards the final stage of getting a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal off the ground was not easy, even as he reiterated the pact was a good deal economically.”Execution is critical after we arrived at the text,” Obama said in Manila at a meeting with leaders of 11 other TPP member countries on the sidelines of the annual summit of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.

“It is not only a good deal economically but also reflects our common values,” Obama said. “TPP is at the heart of our shared vision for the future of this dynamic region.”

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan.

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