6 June 2024

Philippine and U.S. soldiers took part in an anti-tank live fire exercise in the Philippines’ largest military base on Thursday (April 13) amid tensions with Beijing over the South China Sea.

The drills are part of a two-week annual bilateral exercise between Manila and the U.S. with this year’s edition being the largest in scale yet with over 17,000 participating soldiers.

China’s foreign ministry on Monday (April 10) criticised the joint exercises, saying they “must not interfere in South China Sea disputes, much less harm China’s territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests and security interests.”

Speaking at a news conference, Philippine Army Commanding General Romeo Brawner said: “The exercises that we’re doing are all in line with the order of our president… for us to defend our territory and not give an inch of our territory.”