https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2166280/us-and-philippines-step-joint-military-activitiesBy: The Associated Press
1 day ago
US, Philippines increase number of joint military activities
The Philippine military said Friday its joint defense and security activities with U.S. forces, including annual combat exercises, will increase next year in a show of the treaty allies' continuing robust relations.
By: The Associated Press
Roque did not elaborate on what particular drill China was concerned about. Philippine military officials said they’re unaware of any U.S. military exercisewith Filipino forces next month.
The Philippine government will ensure that nothing will mar Xi's first visit to the country, which both sides agree will "further cement" their already-strong relations, Roque said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila “will do all that it can to make sure that President Xi’s visit will be fruitful and as productive as we would want it to be,” he said.
Philippine warship runs aground in disputed South China Sea
A Philippine navy frigate has run aground on a shoal in the disputed South China Sea and efforts are underway to retrieve it and its crew who were unhurt.
By: The Associated Press
After taking office in 2016, Duterte worked to repair relations with China which had been damaged by the two countries' territorial disputes in the South China Sea. He announced early in his presidency that he would end annual combat drills with the U.S. military in an effort not to offend China, but the drills have continued.
China has opposed American-led military exercises, especially in the disputed waters, accusing Washington of intervening in a purely Asian dispute. The U.S. has pressed on with the exercises and military patrols to promote freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.
US and Philippines to step up joint military activities amid China concerns over American nuclear bombers
China has expressed concern in the past over the countries’ defence exercises near the disputed South China Sea
25 Sep 2018
The Philippine military said Friday that its joint defence and security activities with US forces, including annual combat exercises, would increase next year in a show of the treaty allies’ continuing robust relations.
Top US and Philippine military officials agreed to increase the number of joint security activities next year to 281 in areas that include counterterrorism, maritime security and humanitarian aid. There are 261 such joint activities this year, a military spokesman, Colonel Noel Detoyato, said.
The Philippine military chief, General Carlito Galvez, and Admiral Philip Davidson, the US Indo-Pacific commander, led an annual meeting of the allied forces at the military headquarters in metropolitan Manila on Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to end many of the military’s combat drills with the US military and the presence of American troops in the southern Philippines when he took office in 2016, while working to revive strained ties with China.
Duterte said he wanted joint combat drills with the US stopped because they may offend China, where he has sought infrastructure money and trade and investment.
China has expressed concern in the past over joint military exercises near the South China Sea, where it has been locked in territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan for decades.
“It’s a bilateral issue between the Philippines and US,” Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said in Manila when asked to comment on the increased Philippine-US military activities.
“What we hope is that the military relations between those two countries will contribute to the peace and stability of this region.”
Zhao opposed the flight early this week of two nuclear-capable US B-52 bombers over the strategic waterway, where US ships have also sailed close to Chinese man-made islands to promote freedom of navigation in a region where Washington has repeatedly protested China’s assertive actions to fortify its claims.
“Of course we are concerned ... it’s a strategic bomber, it’s also far away from the US,” Zhao told reporters. “I think the general relative peace and stability of the region do not require the flight of that kind of plane.”
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: US, Philippines raise number of joint military activities