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US, Japan, and Australia Plan Joint Navy Drills in the Disputed South China Sea

By 08/20/2023 9:46 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Following a recent display of Chinese aggression in the disputed waters, the United States, Japan, and Australia are planning a joint navy exercise in the South China Sea off the western Philippines this week to demonstrate their commitment to upholding international law in the area, according to Philippine security officials on Sunday.

On August 5, Chinese coast guard ships fired water cannons at Philippine ships in the disputed waterway, which has long been seen as a potential flashpoint and rift in relations between China and the United States.
Three aircraft and helicopter carriers will cruise alongside one another in a display of force and participate in joint drills as part of the exercise.

Following the offshore training, their commanders will meet with their Filipino counterparts in Manila, according to two Philippine security officials who spoke to The Associated Press.

Both talked on the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to disclose the specifics of the upcoming drills in public. While Japan will send one of its largest warships, the helicopter carrier JS Izumo, the United States plans to send an aircraft carrier, the USS America.

One of the two officials stated that the Royal Australian Navy will send HMAS Canberra, which is equipped with helicopters, and that the combined exercise had been scheduled a few months earlier.

Due to military logistical constraints, the Philippines will not participate in the drills this week, but the country is willing to take part in the future, the official added.

Following the tense standoff earlier this month, a number of nations, including the United States, Japan, and Australia, swiftly expressed support for the Philippines and worry over the Chinese conduct.

According to Philippine sources, two Philippine navy-chartered civilian boats carrying supplies to the Philippine forces stationed at the Second Thomas Shoal were stopped by six Chinese coast guard ships and two militia vessels.

The Chinese coast guard blasted one supply boat with a potent water cannon, while the other was able to deliver food, water, fuel, and other supplies to the Filipino forces on the shoal, according to the Philippine military.

The Philippine ships, which the Chinese coast guard claimed had entered the shoal that Beijing refers to as Ren’ai without authorization, were attacked with water cannons, the Chinese coast guard acknowledged.


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