In Message To China, U.S., Japan, and the Philippines conduct military exercises

In Message To China, U.S., Japan, and the Philippines conduct military exercises
MaoNo / Pixabay

This week, military forces from the U.S., the Philippines, and Japan are taking part in joint exercises in the Philippines. These military drills come at a time when relations between the Philippines and China are at a low point over Chinese actions in the disputed South China Sea. While serving training purposes, these exercises also show a commitment by the U.S. to support its ally, the Philippines, while it reveals an attempt by the Japanese to further its own relationship with that country.

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China – The Exercises

The drills being conducted are part of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2015 (CARAT) exercise. CARAT exercises have been held annually since 1995 by the U.S. navy Pacific Fleet with states from ASEAN with the intent to improve training, cooperation, and readiness.

CARAT Philippines is taking place from June 22 to 26 off of Palawan Island in the Philippines and the U.S. has sent the new littoral combat ship, USS Fort Worth, the rescue and salvage ship, USNS Safeguard, and P-3 Orion aircraft to take part. The Philippines are contributing two frigates, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz along with a corvette.

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The two frigates, former U.S. Coast Guard Hamilton class cutters were acquired by the Philippine Navy within the past few years and are the largest combatants in the Philippine Navy. It should also be noted that in May, the USS Fort Worth was approached by a Chinese warship while conducting patrols in the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, the Japanese are holding separate CARAT drills with the Philippine military in the same area thus marking the second time both countries have held joint drills. The Japanese have sent two P-3 Orion’s which are typically used for maritime surveillance though Japanese officials have said that surveillance activity is not intended for the drill.

Regardless, on both Tuesday and Wednesday, a Japanese P-3 flew near disputed South China Sea waters resulting in criticism from China though the Philippine government has stressed that the drills are not meant to provoke China. Some are arguing that flights such as these will become the norm in the coming years with Japan gaining an active presence in the South China Sea in monitoring Chinese activity. The Chinese have already warned the Japanese to stay out of the South China Sea.

China aside – Japan-Philippines Relations

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has been making considerable strides towards a more active foreign policy. Over the past few months, a good deal of effort has been directed towards improving relations with the Philippines. At the Tokyo summit on June 4th, Japan and the Philippines made considerable steps to securing a better relationship with each other and establishing military cooperation.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and PM Abe agreed to an accord for the transfer of defense equipment and technology in the fields of disaster relief and maritime security. It was at this summit that it was announced that Japan would provide the Philippines with 10 patrol vessels for its coast guard; ships like this are needed to counter increased Chinese maritime activity in the South China Sea. Plans for the current military exercises were also drawn up at the time.

Some members of the Philippine government have criticized the exercises with Japan arguing that they are unconstitutional and a violation of Philippine sovereignty though these dissenters are few in number. The truth is the Philippine military is weak and underequipped in the face of a superior Chinese military and any assistance is greatly needed. The Philippines need to expand their defense relations beyond that which they have with the U.S. and that is where Japan comes into play. There is considerable support for the exercises and continued defense engagement with Japan with Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin coming out in strong defense of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with Japan.

Recent Chinese actions in the South China Sea have caused concern not only to other claimant nations but to the international community as well. Though recently announcing that its island building campaign would soon be coming to an end, the fact remains that the Chinese have still managed to reclaim over 2,000 acres of land on what were in some cases nothing more than barren outcroppings of rock.

This has allowed them to expand military facilities and even construct airfields in the middle of the disputed area thus giving them a military advantage against lesser equipped claimant countries, such as the Philippines. Exercises such as those seen this week in CARAT are necessary to show that a country like the Philippines will not allow the Chinese to overrun the South China Sea unchecked. Furthermore, this week is seeing Japan further incorporating itself into the South China Sea dispute of which it must be said, Japan has no claims.

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Stephen Paul Brooker is a writer, political researcher, and political consultant. His specialty is in East Asia security issues and he has lectured at St. John's University on conflict theory and international relations. He holds a Master's Degree in International Relations and a graduate certificate in International Law and Diplomacy from St. John's University and a Bachelor's Degree in Government from Wagner College. Currently he is pursuing a Diploma in Economics from the University of London.
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  1. I’m talking to a Chinese and he thinks that if all the people from the West who go live in China are crooks and losers it’s a good thing for them.
    Communist China loves mediocrity and people who takes advantage of Chinese.
    It’s apparent now, China truly sucks at the highest degree.

  2. China is a corrupted cesspool that is falling apart.
    Chinese loves to live in absolute mediocrity.. let them sink in their trash.

  3. China has lost credibility a long time ago.
    Keep talking, nobody cares!
    China is the land of lies and nothing you say changes anything, we know you are lying.

  4. Idiot!!! I never said you created the survey. Geez! I don’t know what your level of English comprehension is but like I have said before your responses don’t seem to connect with the topic. I said to respond with relevance and not blab with your bullshit!!! Again, what does the survey you presented got anything to do with the US Navy being allowed by the Taiwan government to be in their territorial waters. Answer the damn question and don’t give me nonsense. But i suspect you’ve got nothing concrete to support your argument.

  5. The survey was not done by me or China, stupid.
    There is no way to change anyone’s mind when they
    are pawns, puppets, and jokers led by the nose by
    Uncle Sam.

  6. What does these listed countries believing that China has “surpassed” the U.S. got to do with the fact that Taiwan allowed the U.S. to be in there own waters? It doesn’t change the fact that most of the SEA countries would rather have the U.S. presence there than China. China is seen as the bully in that region and that’s the bottom line. Just because China thinks it has “surpassed” the U.S. doesn’t make other countries welcome them with open arms. If you are suggesting that I should read/re-read your survey/article, then perhaps I must insists as well to respond with relevance.

  7. South Vietnam was NOT even a nation. South Vietnam was a stop-gap demanded by the U.S. at the Geneva Conference for stopping Viet Minh for taking up the Whole Vietnam completely after the French defeat at Dien Bian Phu. South Vietnam was supposed to hold election for the people to decide if they want to be independent or to join North Vietnam in 1956. President Diem would not allow election to be held because he knew he would lose. Then Vietnam organized the Viet Cong unit in the South to resist. President Diem’s refusal to allow American soldiers in Vietnam forced LBJ to order he execution of President Diem and his brother.

    After that, mass American troops started coming to Vietnam. And lasted for 8 years. After 58,000 death, and hundreds of thousands crippled for life. After that,Henry Kissinger and Le Doc Tho won the Nobel Peace Prize. Le Doc Tho said that he was not in a position to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, citing the situation in his country is not a peace.

    The war in Vietnam was also caused by the U.S.

  8. Yes, Vietnam was nothing but White superiority attitude against colored skin people for challenging White supremacy. There was absolutely no reason for the U.S. to get involve.

  9. It’s stupid because the Ukraine mess is another mess started by the U.S. to try to install a radar shield across Ukraine on the pretense to watching Iran’s missiles. Of course, Russia knew better and objected. Then the U.S. spent 5 1/2 billion dollars buying votes for “regime change”. The rest is laid bare for you to see.

  10. No, they were NOT defeated. They disappeared as ordered by Saddam Hussein. Now, they have re-emerged as ISIS.

    The question is, do you know what is going on around the world??? It seemed like all you know is spooned fed propaganda lies.

  11. I have honest advice for you and China.
    Stop playing the victim.
    Only the Chinese would try to make others feel sorry for poor innocent China! It’s the lowest form of weakness and disgusting to people.

  12. Last but not least!

    It should be obvious to even an “arm chair soldier” let alone a military enthusiast.

    Russia’s only response is we will NUKE you or him or her! I will send 40 more Nukes if you do this.

    Because Putin is not stupid. He knows he cannot win a conventional war.

  13. Vietnam?

    The American forces were sent to South Vietnam to stop the communist North Vietnamese from taking over the South.

    The American forces where never allowed to conduct ground operations in North Vietnam.

    If the Army & Marines where allowed to wage a war and cross the DMZ.
    It would of benn over in a couple months!

  14. 3). Vietnam? Another stupid question!

    If you had experience! Either you can’t understand the different types of warfare or your just here to receive payment for trying to spread disinformation?

  15. Really, that’s a question!
    Do you know what your talking about? It doesn’t sound like it.

    1) Iraq? The Iraqi military was completely defeated in less than a month!

  16. Yes, Uncle Sam has been bullying China and the rest of the world since the end of WWII.

    “our military cannot be stopped with conventional weapons”.

    So what happened in Vietnam???? in Iraq????? in Afghanistan??? in the Middle East???? in Ukraine????

    No, it is not “all”. Our troubles may be just starting.
    1: We are sending heavy equipment to Ukraine while Russia is send 40 ICBM and other heavy equipment to Ukraine border also.
    2: China said its determination in he South China Sea is as hard as rock!!!! It’s another hot spot.

  17. There is an article recently listing countries likes/dislikes China and U. S., and another survey listed countries believing China had surpassed the U.S. You should read/re-read it to refresh your memory.

  18. This message is for all Filipinos. Join hands in combating corruption by throwing corrupt officials out of government. Unless you get rid of corrupt politicians, you are doomed.

  19. The world can send China a simple message and it will be so effective that China will bow down immediately. Stop importing Chinese goods for a week and let’s see how China will respond.

  20. You said it “Taiwan Strait” which Taiwan allowed the U.S. to be there. It’s not in China’s waters as far as the U.S. or the world is concern. The U.S. is there for Taiwan. Taiwan have separated from China whether China likes it or not. The island is no longer part of China since most if not all of Taiwanese don’t want anything to do with China much like Hong Kong today. So if you think about it, China is threatening Taiwan ever since which you can say a “bully” much like what China is doing in the South China Sea. Most of South East Asia welcome the U.S. and reject China. That says a lot between who’s seen as a bully and who’s seen as a welcomed guest.

  21. No your wrong! You attacked America in 1950. It was an unprovoked attack! That was how China expressed its graditude to America for saving China in WW II.

    Korea is a symbol of China’s betrayal of the only country who cared enough to send volunteers before the war began. Told Japan withdraw from China or we will place an embargo upon you. We did. They attacked Pearl Harbor .

    If we wanted to Bully you. It would be simple.
    And of course we have so many weapons & are always coming up with new things.
    And our military cannot be stopped with conventional weapons.
    You will be destroyed and we will make it look simple.
    It’s your choice?
    That is all

  22. Oh!!! bullshit!!!!
    America has been bullying China since the 1950s.
    The 7th fleet has been on the Taiwan Strait since the 1950s.
    The 7th fleet is a symbol of America’s bullying.

    As a result of the 7th fleet, China has developed the DF-21D, the WU-14. Two weapons as a direct result of American’s bullying of China.

  23. America is not trying to Buily China.
    If that was what we wanted, China would be trying to survive after a week! A month it’s over!
    You have no idea. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen

  24. Well 2nd hand made in USA ships are more dependable than those low quality made in China junk. Notice how China suddenly turned into silent mode..LOL

  25. Don’t buy any junk and poisonous commie Chinese products no matter how cheap. Please don’t feed the Chinese animals. Ugly Chinaman go home, you have no friends here.

  26. Some old ships given to the Philippines and a LCS Fort Worth which the pentagon said is defective!!!!! Oh!!! Boy!!!! These are supposed to intimidate/bully China in the South China Sea????

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