Philippines begins naval drills in south china sea

Date: June 23, 2015

Philippines P-3 Orion Tokyo Washington

Philippines begins naval drills with US, Japan amid China sea row

The Philippines Monday began separate but simultaneous naval exercises with the United States and Japan, amid shared and growing concern at Chinese island-building in the disputed South China Sea.

Manila has been holding the naval drills with its longtime ally Washington since 1995. But the exercise with Tokyo, a World War II foe, is only its second ever after one earlier this year.

This week's Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) drill with Washington will include a P-3 Orion aircraft, of the type used by the US to monitor the South China Sea. 

prepare iasSouth China sea Dispute-

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign states within the region, namely Brunei, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. There are disputes concerning both the Spratly and the Paracel islands, as well as maritime boundaries in the Gulf of Tonkin and elsewhere. There is a further dispute in the waters near the Indonesian Natuna Islands. The interests of different nations include acquiring fishing areas around the two archipelagos; the potential exploitation of suspected crude oil and natural gas under the waters of various parts of the South China Sea; and the strategic control of important shipping lanes.

China claims almost the entire Sea despite competing claims from the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, and has been taking strong action including reclamation to assert sovereignty.