The United States and the Philippines plan to return to full-scale joint military exercises in 2022, and are expected to invite Australia and the United Kingdom as observers as another sign of the Biden administration to deepen ties with the Indo-Pacific region.
Admiral John Aquilino, head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, told a news conference in the Philippine capital that the United States wants to increase the complexity and scope of its military exercises with the Philippines and plans to invite new allies to join the exercise. The above Belo South China Morning Post.
For his part, Philippine military chief Jose Fastino reiterated that the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan could join as coaches and observers in “like-minded” countries.
However, China did not oppose other countries’ military exercises, but said, “They have no intention [Estado] Third, “Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference in Beijing.
Military involvement has increased since the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia last month launched a security partnership called AUKUS, which allows access to Canberra nuclear submarine technology.
While some Southeast Asian countries have expressed concern that the agreement could trigger a regional arms race, the Philippines has widely supported the initiative, warning that Manila wants to maintain good security relations with all Indo-Pacific nations.
Early in his term, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sought to end military exercises with the United States as he sought to establish relations with China. But in recent months, the Philippines has sparked tensions with Beijing over its long-standing alliance with Washington over its dominance in the South China Sea.
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