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Philippines suspends joint exercises, patrols with US in S. China Sea


10-08-2016 21:23 BJT

The Philippines has told the US military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the South China Sea have been put on hold. It marks the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country's new president. Rodrigo Duterte also wants to halt the 28 military exercises that are carried out with US forces each year.

US Marines and allied Filipino combat forces are currently conducting a joint beach landing exercise in northwestern Zambales Province, only 250 kilometers away from China's Huanyan Island. Duterte has said he wants it to be the last in his six-year presidency as he backs away from what he views as too much dependence on the US.

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