Amid ongoing ferment in the South China Sea marked by China’s assertive posturing, the Philippines is set to hold simultaneous naval drills next week with its close allies, the United States and Japan.
The Philippines will hold the two exercises separately, and both will be organised near the disputed waters. With the US, the exercise will include a P3-Orion spy plane flight and a helicopter crash and rescue stimulation. Its exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, only the second ever, will take place separately but in the same week, in which Japan would also field a P3 surveillance aircraft. Last month, the Philippines had held naval drill with Japan on the South China Sea, less than 300 kilometers (186 miles) from a Philippine-claimed shoal now under Chinese control.
The Philippine Navy spokesman Commander Lued Lincuna said, “The joint training will help capacitate and familiarize our troops with modern equipment. There will be sharing of information, techniques and best practices on the tactical level.”
“They are regularly planned and scheduled exercises. With Japan, the focus is on search and rescue and disaster relief,” Philippine foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.
The US and the Philippines, long-time allies, have been bound by a 64-year-old mutual defense treaty and a separate visiting forces agreement. In addition, the two countries signed an agreement last year to rotate more troops in Philippine military bases.
Earlier this month, the Philippines’ President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to negotiate for the transfer of defense equipment, including anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft and radar technology.
Meanwhile, China has said it would soon complete land reclamation on some islands and reefs in disputed waters in the South China Sea. And it would then begin to build facilities on the artificial islands to perform several tasks – including military defence.
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Power of India2020.08.07National Education Policy aims to keep the current and future generations – Future Ready : Modi
- India and the World2020.07.31Indian Ocean connect: Modi brands India’s development partnership
- India and the World2020.07.31China’s envoy rejects threat narrative, focuses on win-win with India
- Diplomacy2020.07.29ISIS threat in Kerala and Karnataka