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US and Philippines holding biggest combat drills in decades after China-Taiwan standoff

After China’s mock air and sea attack off the coast of Taiwan, the Philippines and USA are hosting their largest combat drills for decades.

More than 17.600 military personnel will participate in the annual “Balikatan”, which includes live-fire drills like a boat-sinking missile attack in the South China Sea or the Taiwan Strait.

This will be America’s latest show of firepower in Asia. It is likely to increase tensions with China which doesn’t recognize Taiwanese independence.

Image: A Chinese warship is seen firing during a military drill that took place across the Taiwan-controlled Matsu Islands. Pic by Reuters

The Chinese defence ministry stated that Chinese warplanes, navy ships and warships remained in the area around Taiwan Tuesday after China’s three-day war games.


Before the manoeuvres began, Colonel Michael Logico, a Philippine spokesperson for Balikatan, stated that “we are not provoking anybody by simply exercing.”

He said, “This is actually deterrence.” “Deterrence means that we discourage other parties from invading our territory.”

Officials say that the drills will showcase America’s warships and fighter jets, as well as its Patriot missiles (HIMARS rocket launchers, anti-tank Javelins, and Patriot missiles), as well as its Patriot missiles, Patriot missiles, HIMARS rocket launchesers, and Patriot missiles.

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Taiwan and China ships in stand-off

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China and Taiwan ship in stand-off

Dozens of Chinese fighter planes fly across the Taiwan median line.

‘Reckless’ US risks conflict – Chinese foreign minister

The US Embassy in Manila stated that field scenarios, such as a boat-sinking operation in Philippine territorial waters, are intended to “test the allies’ capabilities in combined arms live fire, information and intelligence sharing, communication between manoeuvre units logistics operations, amphibious missions, and communications between them.”

These exercises are part of a push by Joe Biden‘s government to strengthen an arc alliances in Indo-Pacific to better combat China, including a possible confrontation with Taiwan.

Image: A J-15 Chinese fighter jet. Pic: AP

Washington has warned China repeatedly about its aggressive actions against Taiwan and in the disputed maritime channel.

Recent revelations that the Chinese spy balloon flew above the US was capable of gathering intelligence from sensitive American military sites further soured relations between the superpowers.


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