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Chinese exec: No tension between Philippines, China

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Chinese exec: No tension between Philippines, China
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin takes a question at the Foreign Ministry briefing in Beijing on November 9, 2020.
Greg Baker / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — There is “no tension” between China and the Philippines and military drills should not target any third party, a Chinese foreign ministry official said.

The reminder from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin came ahead of the largest-ever Balikatan exercise of the Philippines and the United States set to kick off on March 28.

“China does not oppose countries’ military drills within their borders, but we hope the exercises will not target any third party and they will not do things detrimental to regional peace and stability,” Wang said in a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

The Philippines and the United States will hold the largest military exercise after around three decades as tension with China rises.

About 8,900 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the US military are teaming up for the Balikatan 2022 across Luzon from March 28 to April 8.

The drills will be the largest in terms of personnel and distances as forces will be spread throughout the Philippines.

The 3,800 AFP members and 5,100 US military personnel will train on maritime security, amphibious operations, live-fire, urban and aviation operations, counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.

Exercises like Balikatan strengthen international partnerships and participating militaries’ abilities to rapidly respond to crises throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

CHINA

PHILIPPINES

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