MANILA: The Philippines has granted the United States expanded access to its military bases, its defence ministry said on Thursday, amid mounting concern over China's increasing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea and tensions over self-ruled Taiwan.

A statement from the Philippine defence ministry said Washington would be given to access to four more locations under an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) dating back to 2014. (Reporting by Karen Lema Editing by Ed Davies)