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International relations

U.S., Philippines begin war games as South China Sea spat lingers

China coast guard has made 4 dangerous moves near Scarborough Shoal in 1 year

American troops stand by Stryker armoured fighting vehicles after participating in live fire drills as part of the annual U.S.-Philippines joint military exercises at Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac province, Philippines in this April 10, 2019 file photo.   © AFP/Jiji

MANILA -- U.S. and Philippine troops on Monday began large-scale military drills, in show of strength as China grows increasingly assertive in the disputed South China Sea and Russia's war with Ukraine rages on.

Some 3,800 Filipino and 5,100 American military personnel will train together in one largest iterations of the "Balikatan" (shoulder to shoulder) annual military exercise. The drills are a hallmark of the 71-year-old treaty alliance that has been tested by outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's efforts to forge closer ties with China.

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