News / Asia

Philippine, US Military Exercises Begin

U.S. Marine Brigadier General Richard Simcock (R) shakes hands with Philippines Armed Forces Major General Virgilio Domingo after the opening ceremony of annual Philippines-U.S. military exercise in Manila, April 5, 2013.
U.S. Marine Brigadier General Richard Simcock (R) shakes hands with Philippines Armed Forces Major General Virgilio Domingo after the opening ceremony of annual Philippines-U.S. military exercise in Manila, April 5, 2013.
Simone Orendain
The United States and the Philippines began an annual joint military exercise Friday, involving some 8,000 troops training for disaster relief operations. The drills come at a time of high tension on the Korean peninsula and continuing maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
 
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario says the United States and the Philippines continue to strengthen their ties under a mutual defense treaty.  
 
Fresh from a trip to Washington to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, del Rosario gave the keynote message Friday during opening ceremonies for the 12-day joint exercises aimed at humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training.

“These key officials have pledged to work with us to build our own capacity to defend ourselves.  And defend ourselves, we will,” del Rosario said.
 
Del Rosario said the exercises called “Balikatan” or “Shoulder to Shoulder” come at a crucial time for the Philippines and the region.  He says what he calls “excessive and exaggerated claims” by China of having “indisputable sovereignty” over practically the entire South China Sea have placed regional peace and stability “at serious risk.”
 
The Philippines and China are locked in a diplomatic fight over claims in the South China Sea.  The Philippines is taking the matter to international arbitration - without China’s participation.  Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have partial or entire claims to the sea.
 
Secretary Kerry said this week that the U.S. supports the Philippines’ arbitration bid and that the disputes have to be resolved with the rule of law.  He also described the Philippines as one of the U.S.’ five allies in Asia.
 
With North Korea’s repeated threats of missile attacks against the United States, Del Rosario later told reporters the Philippines is concerned with Pyongyang's actions.
 
“I think as treaty allies if there is an attack, we should help one another, which is what the alliance is all about,” he said.
 
In recent years, U.S. military missions in the Pacific have increased refueling and maintenance visits to the Philippines.
 
Military officials from both countries say the Balikatan exercises this year are heavily focused on humanitarian and disaster management.  This year’s drills include 12 [American] F-18 fighter jets, among the 30 aircraft taking part in exercises in Central Luzon, located in the northern region of the Philippine archipelago.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jack williams from: michigan
April 26, 2013 4:53 PM
volcano Pinatubo did move the US troops out!!! GREED and POLOTICS did! !!! The new President is a smart man!

by: Vic from: Taipei
April 05, 2013 9:03 PM
It is cheaper for the Philippines to sit down and discuss bilaterally with China about some little rocks out in the deep blue sea. Why go back to a colonial master whom you kicked out before, why not pick a more able Philippine foreign affairs team.
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
April 08, 2013 6:18 AM
Why don't Chinese Taiwanese go back to China and give back Taiwan to Japan?
Why don't Taiwan give back islands in South China Sea that it invaded from Vietnam in 1974 at the end of Vietnam War when U.S. stopped supporting South Vietnam?
Why don't Taiwanese government stop being two faced with both China and U.S.?

by: Dalyt Mukharjee from: UK
April 05, 2013 11:49 AM
I agree, Israel is part of the US, although i have never seen a greater numbers of Germans, Russians, Checoslovaquians and Filipinos in one such small place all enjoying their lives partying and having wonderful time - it is really an unbelievable place. However, they are surrounded and some say infiltrated by Arab Muslims who just want to destroy it all.

by: Sabanian from: Manila
April 05, 2013 9:54 AM
as a Pinoy, i know my country deeply down that our admiration of military exploits are reserved to only one nation and its not the US... its Israel!!! we would have like to see more PHL-Israel connection than PHL-US connection...
In Response

by: Featherknife from: Washington
April 05, 2013 10:19 AM
1-Israel would not exist as a nation without U.S. support.
2-Why would Israel want to have anything to do with the Philippines?

by: Synergy from: California
April 05, 2013 9:08 AM
I like the fact that US has its presence in the PHL. However, I remember that US did not give that much money it can afford when PHL was devastated with one of the super typhoon. China gave more if my memory serves me right. US poured alot more money on countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and etc. So much for an "Ally".

by: Tweety from: Los Angeles, CA
April 05, 2013 8:52 AM
Chinese communists living in P.I. won't like this and will finance a few hundred communist militant activists to stage rallies against U.S. presence in the country.

Too bad for the Chinese communist, now the volcano Pinatubo is not on their side to drive the Americans away.

Though the American bases were not there anymore, during the war with Afghanistan and Iraq, Philippine ports were used for refuel and maintenance of US ships and planes. Precisely why communist China wanted control of the South China Sea, in addition to China's economic interest in the region.

by: Tara from: Calif.
April 05, 2013 7:45 AM
It official that the United States and the Philippines are an open marry nation to battling grounds for custody. Smile, you are on satellite camera's!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs