25 April 2012

US-Philippines Exercises in South China Sea

Despite China's "warning" the Philippines and US are pressing ahead with exercises.

Hundreds of American and Philippine troops waded ashore on Wednesday in a mock assault to retake a small island in energy-rich waters disputed with China, a drill Beijing had said would raise the risk of armed conflict.
The exercises, part of annual U.S.-Philippine war games on the western island of Palawan, coincide with another standoff between Chinese and Philippine vessels near Scarborough Shoal in a different part of the South China Sea.
China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan across the South China Sea, each searching for gas and oil while building up their navies and military alliances.
China said last week the drill would raise the risk of confrontation. On Wednesday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said China was committed to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the dispute.
"We are certainly worried about the South China Sea issue," Cui told a news briefing in Beijing, saying "some people tried to mix two unrelated things, territorial sovereignty and freedom of navigation".

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By: Brant

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