- Chinese Navy will carry out military drills in the West Philippine Sea in the coming weeks
- The date and location has not been revealed yet
- China’s official military newspaper described it as part of the “annual regular exercises”
MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese Navy is set to conduct military drills in the West Philippine Sea as part of the ‘regular annual exercises’.
Citing a report from People’s Liberation Army Daily, Beijing military’s official newspaper, Reuters said the military exercises will take place shortly without giving specific details on dates and the location the drills are supposed to start.
This was also reportedly confirmed by Taiwan’s defense ministry after ‘shadowing’ a Chinese aircraft carrier on the Taiwan Strait moving along the direction of the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea.
“This is a routine annual planned arrangement for the navy, the aim of which is to test and improve the military’s training level and to fully raise the ability to win. It is not aimed at any specific country or target,” Reuters quoted the newspaper as saying.
Last Wednesday, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano visited China, becoming the first visiting foreign minister after the establishment of the new Chinese government under President Xi Jinping who extended his grip on power following the drastic revision on the state constitution.
He met with counterpart Wang Yi and held talks on maritime cooperation, among others.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, both sides “will give full play to the role of the bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea and the maritime cooperation mechanism of coast guard to strengthen maritime dialogue.”
The two countries also vowed to “actively and steadily promote cooperation in offshore oil and gas exploration through equal and friendly consultation.”
There was no mention, however, whether the planned military drill in the West Philippine Sea was ever discussed.