US plans naval drill with India, Japan in West PH Sea

  • The United States is planning to hold military exercises with Japan and India in the coming months
  • The naval drill will be held off the coast of northern Luzon in the West Philippine Sea
  • China says it is hoping the planned joint exercises will benefit concerned nations

MANILA, Philippines – The United States is planning to hold joint naval exercises with Japan in India in the West Philippine Sea, a US military official told Reuters on Wednesday.

The planned drill will be held off the coast of northern Luzon near the disputed islands where Chinese facilities has been constructed on man-made features.

Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the Asia-Pacific Fleet, told reporters during a security conference in New Delhi that freedom of the seas remains a fundamental rights of every nation regardless of size or military power.

Last year, US and Japan conducted a joint military operations off the Bay of Bengal. This year, Japan will most likely participate as tension continue to rise in the contested waterways where China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines have overlapping claims.

Harris also praised India for its peaceful initiative to resolve a similar border disputes with neighboring countries.

“While some countries seek to bully smaller nations through intimidation and coercion, I note with admiration India’s example of peaceful resolution of disputes with your neighbours in the waters of the Indian Ocean,” Harris said. (Click here to read more)

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