Wednesday, July 30, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 3 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

U.S. and Philippines plan military drills near disputed areas

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:44 a.m. HST, Mar 07, 2012


MANILA, Philippines >> Thousands of American and Filipino troops will hold annual combat exercises in a western province where China, the Philippines and four other Asian neighbors have been locked in long-simmering territorial disputes, officials said Wednesday.

This year's drills will be held from April 16-27 in Palawan, which faces the South China Sea and lies about 510 miles (820 kilometers) southwest of Manila.

Tensions have grown in recent years in the area because of rival territorial claims by the Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. China has protested military exercises involving U.S. forces near the contested region.

About 4,500 American military personnel and 2,300 Filipino counterparts will join next month's exercises, the U.S. Embassy said, adding that observers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and "partner nations" have been invited.

Philippine officials said the Balikatan, or "shoulder-to-shoulder," drills aim to ensure that the U.S. and the Philippines, longtime defense-treaty allies, can cooperate smoothly during emergencies and disasters. The drills promote regional stability and should not antagonize any country, Philippine military officials said.

Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban said the drills would include a mock exercise involving the retaking by troops of an oil rig seized by terrorists off the province's western coast.

The drills will be held well within the country's territorial waters and should not be a concern to China or any claimant country involved in the territorial disputes, Sabban said.

The Chinese embassy did not immediately comment on the planned exercises.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 3 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Vivgie wrote:
This I gotta see. Filipinos speak English, but there's no communication. Filipinos like to brag they were the last to leave Vietnam. Isn't that because they're too slow. Thought the embassy soldiers were the last.
on March 7,2012 | 06:25AM
konakeoni99 wrote:
oh great. way to provoke the situation.
on March 7,2012 | 06:31AM
9ronboz wrote:
Yes, take back the control! China has no business here to begin with.
on March 7,2012 | 07:54AM
Breaking News