The US has deployed a Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system to the Philippines, a media report said on Monday.
It is the “first time as part of annual joint war games,” the Filipino daily Inquirer reported.
The Patriot missile system has been deployed in Aparri in the Cagayan province, which is located in the northern Philippines facing south of Taiwan, it said.
This is the first time the US has deployed the system overseas by land and sea, the report added.
The US and Philippines are holding the “largest-ever” joint military exercise across the Luzon island from March 28 to April 8.
Some 5,100 US military personnel and 3,800 Philippine soldiers are participating in the exercise in the archipelago nation.
The joint military exercise, known as Balikatan 2022, is focusing on “maritime security, amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban operations, aviation operations, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief,” according to the US Embassy in Manila.
The American and Philippine soldiers practiced joint landings, parachute jumps, and live firing drills.
Meanwhile, Philippines Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin and China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held bilateral talks in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui on Monday.
“Both agreed that maritime issues should be put in a proper place in bilateral relations. It is particularly important to prevent improper steps that could disrupt or even undermine bilateral relations and stability in the South China Sea,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a brief statement on Twitter.
Wang stated that China is ready to work toward the goal of building "five homes," including a peaceful, safe, secure, prosperous, beautiful, and amicable home with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as outlined by Chinese President Xi Jinping.