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China proposes joint military drills with PH
China proposes joint military drills with PH
Nation
China proposes joint military drills with PH
by Mhillen Nicole Borja28 July 2023
National flags are placed outside a room where Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and China's Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng address reporters after their meeting in Beijing, China, January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

China has expressed its proposal for joint military exercises with the Philippines, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief General Romeo Brawner Jr.

In an interview with reporters, Brawner said the offer was extended by Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian during the celebration of the 96th People's Liberation Army (PLA) anniversary in Mandaluyong City.

“They offered that prospect, but we have to study [it] further,” he said.

However, Brawner clarified that the talks are still in an informal stage, and further examination on the matter is required before any decisions are made.

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“Informal lang, the ambassador said they submitted white papers, but we have to study,” he added.

The specific location for these joint exercises was not disclosed by the AFP Chief.

At present, the military cooperation between Manila and Beijing is limited to sending Filipino officers to training schools in China.

Brawner emphasized that establishing relations and cooperation with armed forces worldwide serves as a means to prevent conflicts and promote peace.

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"We try to establish relations with armies, with armed forces around the world. This is one way for us to prevent war," he pointed out.

The offer of joint military drills from Beijing comes amidst heightened tensions between the two countries, particularly concerning what the Philippines perceives as China's "aggressive" actions in the South China Sea.

China has long-standing territorial disputes in the South China Sea with several countries in the region, including the Philippines.

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