China slams planned US-Philippines military exercises and issues warning

Beijing, China - China warned that upcoming military exercises between US and Philippines forces will cause more instability and insecurity in the region.

China's foreign ministry has hit out against plans for joint military exercises by US and Philippines forces.
China's foreign ministry has hit out against plans for joint military exercises by US and Philippines forces.  © Collage: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire/SNA

Following last week's trilateral summit between the US, Philippines, and Japan, which in turn came days after US war games in the South China Sea, the Chinese foreign ministry has warned about increasing tensions.

Fresh off announcing joint defense ties with Japan, the US will take part in exercises that simulate the retaking of islands occupied by hostile forces, presumably China, close to Taiwan.

More than 16,000 troops will take part and the exercises will be observed by 14 nations, including not only regional players but also India and countries from the EU.

China lambastes "bullying" US in furious response to import tariffs
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Spokesperson Lin Jian said that the Philippines in particular should be "sober enough to realize" the risks associated with allowing countries like the US to show force in the South China Sea.

"The Philippines needs to be fully aware that when countries outside the region are brought into the South China Sea to flex muscles and stoke confrontation, tensions could get worse and the region will only become less stable," he said in an April 17 press conference.

Philippines hit back at China's "aggressive behavior"

US President Joe Biden (c.) hosted the leaders of Japan, and the Philippines as they held their first trilateral talks.
US President Joe Biden (c.) hosted the leaders of Japan, and the Philippines as they held their first trilateral talks.  © Imago/UPI Photo

Jian insisted that allowing the US military to increase their presence and conduct joint operations will lead to "greater insecurity and turn oneself into someone else's chess piece."

The strong statement came with unequivocal calls for the further safeguarding of China's "territorial sovereignty and maritime rights" in the region, which Beijing sees as being at risk due to increased US presence.

In response to China's warnings, the Philippines' foreign ministry said in a statement that "the source of tension in our region is well known to all."

"It is China's excessive maritime claims and aggressive behavior, including its militarization of reclaimed features, that are undermining regional peace and stability and raising tensions."

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire/SNA

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