US and Philippines conducted joint patrols through the disputed South China sea recently and now they plan to do it again. This happened in a military buildup, certain to inflame tensions with China, US said that it will send troops and combat aircraft to the Philippines for more and more rotations and will also conduct joint sea and air patrols with Philippine forces in South China sea.
This announcement was made by the Joint Secretary Ashton Carter in a news conference with the Defence Secretary of Philippines Voltaire Gazmin. This was the first time US disclosed that its ships had carried out sea patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea. This is a rare move and is not done by all the partners in the region. Carter also mentioned in the news conference that more and more number of US forces and aircraft will be rotated through the Philippines, which will boost the American military presence there. He also told that the Joint Naval patrols, which had begun last month, will contribute to the safety and the security of the water of the region.
Mr Carter further mentioned that the US was trying not to be provocative and was also trying to tamp down the tensions here, but as US will be present now, they will try to deter all those unwanted actions of China. US has increased its troop presence in the region as it is a part of their campaign and they also plan to assist the Philippines. Although there is no permanent basing of the US troops, China feels that US is a threat to them.
In the past few years, a lot of tension has been escalating in the South China Sea, as China is also expanding its military presence in the region. South China Sea is surrounded by a number of islands. It has been a disrupted region for a very long time and a lot of regions have been blaming it for the same reason. In this race, China has tried its best to dominate the region. There are seven states who claim parts of the South China Sea which are China, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines.
As of now, US has conducted two joint patrols with the Philippines in the area. They also plan to have some more joints patrols in the near future. 275 service numbers will be a part of this new rotating US forces. Once upon a time, US had a large presence in the Philippines, but when it banned the foreign military bases, US withdrew from there in 1992.