China's official Xinhua News Agency has harshly criticized the Philippine Supreme Court's backing of a defense pact that allows American forces, warships and planes to be based temporarily in local military camps.

Xinhua said Wednesday that the agreement would escalate tensions and undermine regional peace and stability.

It said the Philippines is "turning to Uncle Sam" to counter China, using a phrase harkening back to the Cold War. Manila is engaged in a sharpening rivalry with China over maritime claims in the South China Sea.

It said Manila would bear the negative consequences of what it called a "stupid move."

The court's ruling Tuesday bolsters U.S. efforts to reassert its presence in Asia and dovetails with Philippine desires for American help in countering China's territorial claims.