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U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy team up in the South China Sea. Picture taken April 18, 2020. Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas Huynh/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Parramatta (FFH 154) (L) sails with U.S. Navy Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) in the South China Sea, April 18, 2020. Picture taken April 18, 2020. Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas Huynh/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

Philippines Says Japan, Australia Keen On Joint Maritime Patrols

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September 17, 2023

By Ian Sayson

Sep 17, 2023 (Bloomberg) –The Philippine armed forces said Japan and Australia “expressed willingness” to take part in joint maritime patrols with it and the US in disputed waters. 

“Other countries who are open to the idea will be identified later,” Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Col. Medel Aguilar said in a text message to reporters.

The military said Saturday it’s escalating maritime surveillance after detecting a “resurgence” of Chinese vessels around the West Philippine Sea, parts of which are being claimed by the country, China and other Southeast Asian nations. 

The Philippines has held joint military and naval drills with the US, Japan and Australia amid tensions with China in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea.

The US military on Thursday said it wants to gain access to additional Philippine sites to tighten a defense alliance between the two countries. The US earlier this year was given access to four more sites under the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which initially covered five Philippine military bases. The new sites are located near Taiwan and the South China Sea.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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