Australia, Japan, and U.S. Counter Beijing Aggression with Navy Drills in South China Sea

Naval assets from Australia, Japan, and the U.S. will meet in the South China Sea this week, gathering off the western Philippines to highlight their commitment to the rule of international law in the region after a recent show of Chinese aggression in the disputed waters, Filipino security officials said Sunday.

Chinese coast guard ships recently used water cannon against Philippine vessels in the contested waterway where disputes have long been regarded as a potential flashpoint and have become a fault line in the rivalry between the U.S. and China in the region.

HIGH-STAKES WATER GUN FIGHT! China Warship Fires Water Cannon at Philippine Coast Guard Vessel

China Coast Guard via Storyful

The drill will include three aircraft and helicopter carriers sailing together in a show of force and undertaking joint drills, AP reports.

Their commanders are set to meet with Filipino counterparts in Manila after the offshore drills, two Philippine security officials told the outlet, as China shows no sign of stopping its relentless push to colonise the area as part of its imperialistic ambitions.

This is despite Beijing having its claim to “territorial sovereignty and marine rights” to almost the entire region categorically rejected in 2016 by an international tribunal in The Hague.

The U.S. plans to deploy an aircraft carrier, the USS America, while Japan would send one of its biggest warships, the helicopter carrier JS Izumo. The Royal Australian Navy would send its HMAS Canberra, which also carries helicopters, one of the two officials said, adding the joint drill was planned a few months ago.

The Philippines would not be part of this week’s drills due to military logistical limitations but is open to becoming a participant in the future, the official said.

HMAS Canberra berthed alongside in Port Vila, Vanuatu, in support of Operation Vanuatu Assist 2023. The ship is now underway and headed for the South China Sea to join allies Japan and the U.S. in exercises. (LSIS Daniel Goodman/Royal Australian Navy)

The move comes at the same time the Biden administration is building naval forces in the Middle East across the disputed Strait of Hormuz in a bid to counter aggression from Iran.

As Breitbart News reported, U.S. warships have moved to the area while the Pentagon considers offering armed sailors and U.S. Marines to commercial ships transiting the key strait in an attempt to foil any plans by Tehran to stop, board, and seize ships in international waters as they pass through the key seaway.

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