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

TOP PICKS

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

Raissa Robles

Raissa Robles has written for the SCMP since 1996. A freelance journalist specialising in politics, international relations, business and Muslim rebellion, she has contributed to Reuters, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Daily Mail, Times of London, Radio Netherlands and Asiaweek. She runs the award-winning investigative and opinion blog, raissarobles.com. Her book, Marcos Martial Law: Never Again, a brief history of the dictatorship won the 2017 National Book Awards for Non-Fiction. Her Twitter handle is @raissawriter.