Philippines, US to hold naval drills near disputed shoal in South China Sea
Published on Jun 19, 2014 6:40 PM
MANILA (REUTERS) - Philippine and American troops are set to hold naval exercises this month near a disputed shoal, which will almost certainly anger China with tension already high in the South China Sea.
China claims 90 per cent of the South China Sea, potentially rich in oil and gas and fisheries.
The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan also claim parts of the waters, and China has viewed with suspicion what it sees as US moves to "provoke" tension by supporting its regional allies, notably Vietnam and the Philippines.
Five warships, including a US guided-missile destroyer, and about 1,000 troops will take part in week-long Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises, which include live-fire drills 64 km off Zambales, on the western shores of the Philippine island of Luzon.
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