Military Power on Full Display: US and Philippine Troops Join Forces for Historic Joint Exercise!

On April 11th, the United States and Philippine armed forces initiated the most extensive collaborative drill to date.

On April 11, over 17,000 troops from the United States and the Philippines commenced a joint military exercise named “Balikatan,” which translates to “Shoulder to Shoulder.” The three-week exercise will involve a diverse range of combat drills and live-fire exercises intended to bolster coordination between the two allied forces.

During the opening ceremony, Major General Marvin Licudine, the commander in chief of the Philippine troops participating in the exercise, announced that the joint live-fire exercises to be conducted along the coast will be the exercise’s main highlight. These exercises aim to practice techniques and enhance combat coordination between the two militaries.

On April 10th, China’s Foreign Ministry expressed its objection towards a joint military exercise conducted by the US and the Philippines. The ministry warned the US against interfering in the disputes related to the South China Sea and impacting the sovereignty and interests of the Philippines, which are critical to China’s maritime and security interests.

Recently, the Philippines has exhibited a consistent inclination towards resuming its traditional defense cooperation with the United States, as demonstrated by the country’s recent policies.

On April 3, the Office of the President of the Philippines issued a statement indicating the country’s consent to allow the United States military to station at four newly designated military bases in the Philippines. These bases include a naval and military base in Cagayan province, an air force base in Isabela province, and barracks on Balabac island, located near the South China Sea. Of note, the naval base in Cagayan province is situated approximately 400km from Taiwan, which has since been met with disapproval from China.

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