Philippines, US Hold Naval Exercises Close To South China Sea

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Context

The US and the Philippines launched their regular naval drills near the South China Sea on Tuesday, showcasing America’s heavy military presence in the region. The 11-day drills, dubbed Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, were launched in the Sulu Sea that is separated from the South China Sea in the northwest by the Philippine island of Palawan. Philippines’ Second World War-era warships, along with two US state-of-the-art missile destroyers are participating in the exercises. The drills come at a time when tensions over the South China Sea have once again raised their heads with the Philippines blaming Chinese ships of making frequent intrusions into its claimed waters.