The US will provide patrol ships and radar equipment to the Philippines as part of a plan to modernize the country’s military, Bloomberg reported. The US is working with the Philippines to create “a minimum credible defense posture,” Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Del Rosario said May 2. The Philippine military buildup comes after US President Barack Obama announced that the US military would make a strategic shift toward Asia. China and Philippine vessels had six encounters last year in the South China Sea, an area of reefs and islands that some Chinese studies say could contain more oil than Iran. Despite military tensions, Philippine President Beningo Aquino said his administration is open to cooperating with China in oil and gas ventures and intends to keep commercial relations separate from political issues, Bloomberg reported. The Philippines has previously opposed joint projects in offshore areas also claimed by China.