Spratly Islands of China Spratly Islands belongs to China Spratlys - Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) of China
www.spratlys.org | Spratly Islands Maps | Spratly Islands News | Spratly Islands History | Spratly Islands Forums | Links
Spratlys > News > English News > April 2004 

Category: @News  @China

Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, April 13, 2004

China once target of Philippine-US joint military exercise

Before turning its spearhead at the Abu Sayif terrorism group, the major imaginative enemy of the Philippine-US military cooperation is China. The US has been helping training the Philippine army by means of military exercises, so as to boost its practical combat ability in struggle for islands, as President Arroyo revealed to reporters. This is the first time for Philippine leader to acknowledge that their military exercises was targeted at China.

It is reported that at a routine talk show program dated April 3, Arroyo said Abu Sayif, the terror group connected to the Al-Qaeda and the Islamic Group, had organized a number of kidnaps in the past. In the previous week, the Philippine government crashed their plot of making blasts at shopping centers and light rail buses at Great Manila. "With the emergence of Abu Sayif, I request the US not to take China as an imaginative enemy, because this is neither relevant nor practical."

When did the Philippines and the US begin to aim at China?
According to expert's analysis, aiming at China is one function of the Philippine-US military cooperation at the very beginning. In the cold war period, the US used the Philippines as a barrier to prevent communism spreading southwards. Even after the cold war, the Philippine-US military cooperation has never stopped even after the withdrawal of the US troop from the Philippines.

The Philippines has intensified its military cooperation with the US since 1995 in a hope to counter China at the Nansha issue. From then on, China became the most major imaginative enemy for the annually held Philippine-US military exercises. To get the US help for safeguarding the Philippines, Estrada, the former Philippine President urged the Senate to endorse a Visiting Forces Agreement with the US in 1999, which legalized the joint military exercise. The two countries organized a couple of joint military exercises each year since 1999, and the scale of their annual "shoulder by shoulder" joint military exercise on the rise. The Logistics Support Arrangement signed in 2002 grants US airplanes and warships right of free entry to the Philippine air and waters.

How does the US army train the Philippine army?
Joint military exercise is the US army's major means to train the Philippine army. In order to train the Philippine army and enhance the ability of coalition combat, the two sides will form a collaborated combat force to complete various tasks in their exercises. Take the "shoulder by shoulder" military exercise in 2001 for instance, it included eight programs including seminars, cross training, field operation exercises, civil military acts. A few supportive training activities such as command and control, military protection and safety action, medical rescue and evacuation, logistic support, road construction and liaison were also included in the exercise. The cross training emphasized on tactics, techniques and programs that would probably be used. In this exercise, the two armies also rehearsed how to deal with crisis and evacuate non-combat personnel.

The terror group has been regarded as major imaginative enemy of the Philippine-US military exercise after 2002. This year, the two countries conducted joint military exercise for the first time at the Palawan Island, the nearest island to the Nansha Islands. Most observers think this exercise was conducted with an intention of aiming at China though the two countries claimed its purpose was to combat terrorism.

Experts on the Philippine issues comment that it is wise for the Philippines not to take China as its imaginative enemy under current circumstance in which the Philippines itself is seriously threatened by terrorism.

An article was carried on the Global Times, April 7, and translated by People's Daily Online

source: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200404/13/eng20040413_140281.shtml