US, Japan and Australia plan joint navy drills in disputed South China Sea, Philippine officials say

by Ethan Kim
fokus keyword South China Sea

The United States, Japan, and Australia have organized joint naval exercises in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, near the western Philippines, for later this week. This action aims to highlight their united commitment to law and order in the region, following a recent act of aggression by China in those contested waters, according to Filipino security authorities on Sunday.

On August 5th, Chinese coast guard vessels utilized water cannons to intimidate Philippine ships in the area, an incident marking the continued tension that serves as a symbol of rivalry between China and the U.S. in the region.

The scheduled exercises include the coordinated sailing of three carriers, including aircraft and helicopters, in a powerful demonstration of unity. Following the offshore activities, commanders from the three countries are expected to meet with Philippine officials in Manila, as revealed to The Big Big News by two anonymous Philippine security officials, who were not authorized to discuss the details publicly.

The USS America, an American aircraft carrier, will be deployed for these drills, along with the JS Izumo, one of Japan’s largest helicopter carriers, and Australia’s HMAS Canberra, also equipped with helicopters. The plan for this joint exercise was set in motion a few months prior, one official noted.

Although logistical constraints will prevent the Philippines from participating in this week’s exercises, they remain open to involvement in future drills, according to the officials.

This collaboration between the U.S., Japan, and Australia comes in response to China’s aggressive actions earlier this month, and these countries were among those that quickly expressed support for the Philippines and concern over China’s behavior.

The incident involved six Chinese coast guard vessels and two militia ships blocking two Philippine navy-hired civilian boats supplying Philippine forces at the Second Thomas Shoal. The Chinese coast guard struck one supply boat with a powerful water cannon while the other successfully delivered necessary supplies. The Chinese coast guard defended its actions, stating that the water cannons were used professionally as a warning and that China would continue to protect its territorial rights.

On Saturday, the Philippine military announced plans to once again attempt to deliver supplies to its forces at the Second Thomas Shoal, emphasizing their determination to resist threats and their commitment to legal principles.

The incident prompted Washington to reiterate its commitment to defending its long-standing treaty ally, the Philippines, if its public vessels and forces were to be attacked, including in the South China Sea.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword South China Sea

What are the US, Japan, and Australia planning in the South China Sea?

The United States, Japan, and Australia are planning joint naval exercises in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, near the western Philippines. These drills aim to emphasize their united commitment to law and order in the region, following a recent incident of Chinese aggression in the contested waters.

Who will participate in the naval exercises, and what equipment will be used?

The U.S. will deploy the aircraft carrier USS America, Japan will send the helicopter carrier JS Izumo, and Australia will send its HMAS Canberra, which also carries helicopters. The Philippines will not participate in these exercises due to military logistical limitations but is open to future involvement.

What incident prompted these joint naval exercises?

On August 5th, Chinese coast guard vessels utilized water cannons against Philippine vessels in the disputed South China Sea. This act of aggression served as a catalyst for the joint exercises, symbolizing the ongoing tension and rivalry between China and the U.S. in the region.

What was China’s response to the use of water cannons?

The Chinese coast guard defended the use of water cannons, stating that they were used as a warning after repeated warnings were ineffective. They described the operation as professional and restrained and declared that China would continue to take measures to firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty.

What is the stance of the Philippines regarding these naval drills?

While the Philippines will not be part of the upcoming drills due to logistical constraints, officials remain open to participating in future exercises. They also expressed appreciation for the support from the U.S., Japan, and Australia, and the Philippine military emphasized its resolve to stand up against threats and uphold the rule of law.

More about fokus keyword South China Sea

  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • Japan’s Ministry of Defense
  • Australian Department of Defence
  • The South China Morning Post
  • Reuters
  • BBC News
  • CNN International

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John Smith August 20, 2023 - 7:28 pm

I cant believe what China’s doing down there. This is gona spark more tensions, for sure. Can’t we all just get along?

Mike T. August 20, 2023 - 10:19 pm

whats the real story here? Seems like there’s always two sides, but all we hear is one. Wonder what China has to say, besides the official response…

Sara O'Neil August 21, 2023 - 12:03 am

It’s about time the US, Japan and Australia stepped in. China’s actions were out of line, and they can’t just do whatever they want. Go USS America!

Fiona W August 21, 2023 - 1:23 am

i think this situation is more complex than it seems. The South China Sea has been a hotspot for years, and now it’s heating up again. Scary stuff!

Gary L August 21, 2023 - 7:01 am

Good on Australia for getting involved. Shows that we’re not just sitting on the sidelines, but we’re a part of the global community! Go HMAS Canberra!


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