A major US ally in the Pacific wants to scrap an important military deal with the US, and that may give China an edge

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The Philippine president has announced his intention to withdraw from the Visiting Forces Agreement that facilitates the US military presence in his country.

The actual end of that pact is still a long way off, but similar decisions in the past left Manila in a weaker position to counter China's ambitions in the region.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte followed through on numerous threats to end his country's Visiting Forces Agreement with the US on Tuesday, notifying Washington of his intent to withdraw, triggering a 180-day countdown.

On Friday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said he thought the two sides could reach a political resolution, but recent history suggests the pact's demise could be an opportunity for China in a strategically valuable region.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Here's why so many nations want to control the South China Sea and what China wants to doSee Also:The best mattressesTrump says he doesn't mind that a key Pacific ally is tearing up a military pact with the US, a move the Pentagon called 'unfortunate'A longtime Pacific ally that's key to confronting China is tearing up a major military agreement with the USSEE ALSO: 4 ways China is gaining ground in Latin America, according to the US's top military commander in the region