US and Filipino soldiers take part in an amphibious landing exercise at San Antonio, Zambales, Philippines. Photo: EPA

US-Philippine Balikatan military exercises in South China Sea ‘not a message to Beijing’, insists Manila

  • Naval drills that simulate repelling a foreign power from a Philippine island are not a response to China’s deployment of a large fleet to waters near Thitu – or Pagasa – island, claims President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman
  • Salvador Panelo also says his country has a “neutral stance” on America’s assertion of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea
Topic |   The Philippines

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US and Filipino soldiers take part in an amphibious landing exercise at San Antonio, Zambales, Philippines. Photo: EPA
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An influential defence think tank has urged the US to deploy the high-mobility artillery rocket system in Southeast Asian countries. Photo: Wikimedia

US and Philippines said to be in talks on rocket system to deter Beijing’s ‘militarisation’ in South China Sea

  • Security experts say the two sides have been unable to reach a deal because the American system could be too expensive for Manila
  • Chinese man-made islands on reefs in the disputed Spratly chain would be in striking distance if it’s deployed, according to one analyst
Topic |   South China Sea

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An influential defence think tank has urged the US to deploy the high-mobility artillery rocket system in Southeast Asian countries. Photo: Wikimedia
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