Beijing on Monday protested as the Philippines and Japan signed a defense pact seen to be a countermove against China's aggressive posturing in the region.

Lin Jian, the foreign ministry spokesman called it as 'small circles' that would 'encourage a new Cold War and provoke confrontation."

The Reciprocal Access Agreement, that representatives of Japan and the Philippines signed on Monday, allows the deployment of troops on each other's territory. The move is seen to boost ties between the two traditional military allies of the United States in the face of China's growing assertiveness.

The historic pact was finalized in Manila, where Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara and Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa are holding talks with their Philippine counterparts Gilberto Teodoro and Enrique Manalo. - based on reports from Agence France Presse

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