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U.S., Japanese and Australian Warships joined Philippine Forces in South China Sea Patrol

U.S. Japanese Australian Warships Philippine Forces
The Silicon Review
08 April, 2024

The Chinese Ministry of National Defense announced its own joint naval and air patrol in the South China Sea,

A joint patrol involving six warships and four aircraft from Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States took place in the South China Sea on Sunday, prompted by Chinese interference with Philippine Navy resupply missions in the area. Officially named the Australia-Japan-Philippines-United States Maritime Cooperative Activity, these joint patrols commenced last November in response to confrontations between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea, particularly around Scarborough Shoal, and resupply missions to BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) at Second Thomas Shoal.

Chinese vessels, including the China Coast Guard and maritime militia, have engaged in increasingly aggressive actions against Philippine vessels, such as blasting water cannons, conducting blocking maneuvers, deploying long-range acoustic devices, and ramming ships. Sunday's joint patrol, the first combined multinational patrol, also marked the inaugural participation of Japanese vessels and aircraft. Defense ties between Tokyo and Manila have expanded, including trilateral exchanges with the U.S. and the provision of naval radars to the Philippine Navy through Japan's military aid program. In a joint statement, defense officials from the four nations affirmed their commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation and operation in accordance with international law. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stressed the shared commitment, echoed by his Australian, Japanese, and Philippine counterparts, highlighting the enduring friendship and partnership among the nations involved.