US and Philippines perform live-fire exercise amid tensions with China

US and Philippine forces perform live-fire exercises in Tarlac

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The United States and Philippine military forces have conducted a series of live-fire military exercises in a remote region north of the capital, Manila. Footage filmed in Capas, an area within the province of Tarlac, captured a series of missile launches performed with live ammunition. The combat drills in the Philippines, which have been supported by American forces, come as tensions with China continue to rise as Xi Jinping outlines hopes to claim Taiwan.

In Capas, the military forces demonstrated their firepower by making significant use of truck mounted launchers within the training exercise.

The drills involved over 2,500 American and Philippine marines and included work on missile launches and the use of amphibious vehicles.

The exercises are part of a large-scale military project between the two allies amid fresh tensions in the South China Sea.

Beijing has conducted a series of threatening military exercises within Taiwan’s territory and the Chinese government has pushed for the republic to come under the control of Xi Jinping.

The military exercises in the Philippines took place with simultaneous operations between US and Japanese forces on the island of Hokkaido.

The combat drills in Japan, codenamed Resolute Dragon 22, are designed to strengthen the coordinated response to international aggression.

A statement from the Japanese Army read: “This exercise is designed to strengthen response capabilities and contributes to the upholding and reinforcing of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Officials involved in the drills in both Japan and the Philippines have denied the military exercises are directed at any specific country despite the turbulent situation between China and Taiwan.

Read more: Taiwan demands China to halt drones in fresh threat

US President Joe Biden has asserted American military forces would defend Taiwan if China attempted an invasion.

Beijing ramped up military exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan after US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi travelled to meet with President Tasi Ing-wen in August.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry branded the visit a “serious provocation” and accused the White House of “interfering with China’s internal affairs”.

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The UK Government has made its own hawkish moves to condemn the international tensions sparked by China.

Under the new Prime Minister, China is to be formally labelled as a “threat” in a dramatic rewrite of British foreign and defence policy.

Influential backbencher and former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith welcomed the measure, praising Liz Truss for her “tough new stance” against China.

In a statement on Twitter, the Tory MP wrote: “It’s time we stopped messing around and recognised that China poses a threat to the way we live our lives.”

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