The Philippines recently conducted military exercises in the disputed area in the South China Sea. Philippine Navy Commander Admiral Toribio Adachi said Operation Sama Sama is more than just a routine step. Manila’s allies are also participating in the Sama-Sama, with the United States, Japan, Great Britain and Canada also represented. France, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand also sent observers to the exercises, which continued until October 13.
Regarding the military exercise, no one explicitly stated that it was directed against China, but based on the events of the past months, this is unlikely.
A growing conflict has begun to emerge between the Philippines and Beijing over control of some areas of the South China Sea. However, in addition to weapons, Manila also uses international law to protect the country’s interests, so it plans to file a lawsuit against Beijing in the international court.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry rejects the Philippine government’s accusations, saying:
The current maritime disputes between China and the Philippines are mainly fueled by the Philippine side and spread false information.
Beijing also plans to hold a military exercise in the disputed region in order to deter its rivals in the region.
Incidents between the two countries have become increasingly frequent, leading to more and more serious statements in diplomatic messages. Manila is now exploring the possibility of conducting joint quadrilateral naval patrols in the South China Sea with the United States, Japan and Australia.
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