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US and Philippine troops started joint maritime and air patrols off the Southeast Asian nation on Tuesday, President Ferdinand Marcos stated, because the nations search to counter China’s rising assertiveness within the area.

The longtime treaty allies agreed in February to renew joint patrols within the disputed South China Sea, which Beijing claims nearly fully.

That they had suspended maritime patrols within the hotly contested space underneath the rule of former president Rodrigo Duterte, who favored Beijing over Washington.

Marcos, who has sought to restore relations with america since taking workplace in 2022, stated the patrols could be held over three days.

“This vital initiative is a testomony to our dedication to bolster the interoperability of our navy forces in conducting maritime and air patrols,” Marcos stated in an announcement.

“By way of collaborative efforts, we goal to reinforce regional safety and foster a seamless partnership with america in safeguarding our shared pursuits.”

The Philippine navy stated the “maritime cooperative exercise” with the US Indo-Pacific Command would begin close to the coastal province of Batanes and finish within the West Philippine Sea.

Manila refers to South China Sea waters instantly west of the Philippines because the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines will deploy three navy vessels, two FA-50 fighter jets, and an A-29B Tremendous Tucano assault plane to affix a US littoral fight ship and P-8A aircraft within the exercise.

No additional particulars got about what the vessels and plane would do.

The announcement comes after Marcos warned Sunday that the Chinese language navy had “began to point out curiosity” in constructing bases on reefs that had been “nearer and nearer to the Philippine shoreline.”

China deploys boats to patrol the waterway and has constructed synthetic islands that it has militarized to strengthen its claims to nearly all the South China Sea.

China has ignored a world tribunal ruling that its claims haven’t any authorized foundation.

Tensions between Manila and Beijing have flared in latest weeks following a number of incidents between Philippine and Chinese language vessels within the sea.

This month, Manila accused the Chinese language coast guard of “harmful harassment” of Philippine boats, together with firing a water cannon and blocking vessels on a resupply mission.

That got here after two collisions between Philippine and Chinese language boats in the identical space, with the nations buying and selling blame.