Japan, Australia's 5 Warships just Joined the USA' 2 Aircraft Carriers in Patrolling the Philippine Seas

Japan, Australia's 5 Warships just Joined the USA' 2 Aircraft Carriers in Patrolling the Philippine Seas
Royal Australian Navy warships have joined US and Japanese vessels in military exercises. (Department of Defence). (Supplied) image: U.S. Pacific Fleet

Australian warships join US and Japan navies in military drills amid tensions with China

Five Australian warships have joined US and Japanese vessels in joint military exercises in the Philippine Sea, amid regional tensions with China.

The Royal Australian Navy deployment comes as the US warns it will hold more patrols - known as Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) - to challenge Beijing's territorial claims in the nearby South China Sea.

An Australian Joint Task Group, led by HMAS Canberra, has joined the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and a Japanese destroyer for a three navy exercise in the Philippine Sea.

Commodore Michael Harris, commander of the Australian Joint Task Group, said the drills alongside Japan and the US was invaluable.

Japan, Australia's 5 Warships just Joined the USA' 2 Aircraft Carriers in Patrolling the Philippine Seas
US Pacific Fleet twitted: (image: twitter) Ships of the #USSRonaldReagan Carrier Strike Group, Royal Australian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force steam in formation on Tuesday during a trilateral exercise in the Philippine Sea. #NavyPartnerships

"Maintaining security and safety at sea requires navies to be able to cooperate seamlessly," Commodore Harris said.

Over the next two days the three navies will conduct training exercises as they work to keep the Indo-Pacific region "free and open".

The Joint Task Group left Darwin on July 5 for a regional deployment to Southeast Asia before it heads to Hawaii for the Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

The military drills come as US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said American warships will beef up FONOPS through the South China Sea this year.

China, along with the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia, hold different, sometimes overlapping, territorial claims over the strategic waterway

Mr Esper told an online event hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington that China's "excessive and unlawful maritime claims … have been used to bully smaller countries".
In 2019, the US Navy carried out nine FONOPS - the most ever - and Mr Esper said the Pentagon will "keep up the pace" through this year.

US learned a lesson in Scarborough Shoal Stand-off

Japan, Australia's 5 Warships just Joined the USA' 2 Aircraft Carriers in Patrolling the Philippine Seas
The 2012 Scarborough Shoal Stand-off with China 

In 2012 during the Aquino administration, the Philippines lost its control of the Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) after USA refused to heed and defend the Philippines’ call for help during the Philippines-China Scarborough Shoal Stand-off. 

Aquino government even invoked the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between USA and the Philippines but Obama ignored it by saying that “Scarborough Shoal” is not part of the USA-Philippines MDT of 1951. 

Former US President Obama during his visit in Japan and South Korea even mentioned on his speech that “the Philippines are not an ally of USA but just a client state” leaving China to control the Scarborough Shoal. 

Obama then vowed that USA will defend any attacks against South Korea and Japan but no answer if the case is with the Philippines.  Obama’s speech was criticized by western political experts that it could tarnished the Washington’s image towards it allies as it failed to honor is Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines.

When President Duterte took office on June 2016, He then shifted to Beijing from Washington calling former US president Obama as “Son of a b*tch” America as none trustworthy, bully and no word of honor.

COVID 19' Malaysia-China Oil-rig stand off give an opportunity to USA to cover-up its name towards its allies. USA immediately acted to wash their tarnished image when they left  the Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal in the hand of China. Washington sent their warship to contest China’s massive sea claim and faced the China warship which was in stand-off with Malaysia’s oil-rig amidst COVID19 pandemic. Then China warship left Malaysia's oil-rig.
  
Washington then sending aircraft carriers for already 2 times in a month period to patrol in the South China Sea for Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS). Read more at 9News 

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