US, Philippines Set To Hold Expanded War Games

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US, Philippines Set To Hold Expanded War Games





He emphasized the expanded war games highlighted the deepening military alliance between the Philippines and its former colonial ruler.

"The higher strength of Balikatan 2015 for this year only reflects the Philippines' and the United States' growing commitment to enhance our capability to conduct joint military and non-military activities," Cabunoc told AFP.

He said the decision to expand the numbers involved in the games was not directed at China, which claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters and reefs close to Southeast Asian nations and far from its nearest major landmass.

However, part of the exercises will be held from Zambales naval base, which is located 220 kilometers (137 miles) east of Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.

The shoal is a rich fishing ground within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone but has been controlled by China since 2012.

The Balikatan exercises, which start on April 20, will also be held on the central island of Panay, Palawan in the southwest and a former American air base north of Manila.

Cabunoc said the exercises involved maritime security and disaster response drills, as well as civic projects.

Spokespeople for the US and Chinese embassies in Manila were unavailable for comment on Monday.

The Philippines has repeatedly protested at China's increasingly assertive actions in the South China Sea and has sought closer military ties with the United States in an effort to counter it.

The US and Philippines signed an agreement last year that will allow a larger American military presence in the Philippines.

However it has not yet been implemented, as the Supreme Court is hearing challenges to it from anti-US groups.

Aside from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have competing claims to parts of the South China Sea.


US, Philippines Set To Hold Expanded War Games
 
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Extremely good for our troops. These exercises are a good source of experience in fighting on jungles, marshes and beaches. Plus, it never hurts to strengthen our relationships with our allies. So far, we have S. Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. This strong alliance in the pacific is understandably what is making China a little anxious.
 
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I think we should do some training with southeast asian countries [ Indonesia - Philippines - Thailand ...ect ]
 
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I think we should do some training with southeast asian countries [ Indonesia - Philippines - Thailand ...ect ]
No what we should do is engage in joint venture on heavy hardware. Indonesia and Malaysia have strong military industry. Both countries manufacture tanks and aircraft and that could help our military industry to grow.
 
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