The US and Philippines started joint naval exercises on October 9 north of Manilla. The exercises were to improve cooperation between the defense partners and prepare their troops for joint action.
This is the 30th year the US and Philippines have held joint military drills, but some analysts still see it as a balance of power against China. Since the Obama administration shifted its attention to the Asia Pacific region, many see it as a move to contain potential unilateral attacks by the Chinese regime.
Both the Philippines and the US deny that the exercises are politically motivated.
Samuel Mongcal, Philippine Marines Commanding Officer states that, "I think you heard it a thousand times, but we are here to train and develop the capability, as far as humanitarian assistance and disaster response is prevalent in our case. We are hoping we can achieve some
confidence in working together."
The Philippines has sought US support for its territorial dispute with China over the Scarborough
Shoal in the South China Sea. A face-off this year between the two countries has created tensions, with the Philippines filing a diplomatic protest against the Chinese regime.
The US has been adamant that it will not get involved in territorial conflicts between China and
its Asian neighbors. However, it does have an invested interest in keeping trade routes clear and commerce flowing. The Philippines is situated amidst some of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Having the Philippines as an ally helps keep stability in the region and ensure continued trade.
|Liveleak on Facebook|