Quadrilateral maritime drills launch in South China Sea

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In this photo provided by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, from left, Australian Navy ship HMAS Warramunga, United States Navy ship USS Mobile (LCD-26) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces ship JS Akebono are seen from Philippine Navy ship BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) during the first Multilateral Maritime Cooperative Activity at the disputed South China Sea on April 7. (AP)

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8, (KUNA): The first quadrilateral maritime drills between the United States, Japan, Australia and the Philippines launched on Sunday in South China Sea amidst amplified Chinese assertiveness in the area.
The drills will include anti-submarine warfare training, read a joint statement issued by the countries’ defense ministries, adding that this is part of efforts supporting regional and international cooperation as well as a free and open Indo-Pacific area.
The maritime cooperative activities will be conducted by naval and air forces in the Philippines exclusive economic zone.
The past month saw recurring skirmishes between the Philippines and China, with China exercising sovereignty over the disputed areas, dismissing claims from all neighboring countries and international justice rulings.
The drills are taking place days prior to first trilateral summit between US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos on economic relations in Indo-Pacific area.

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