US, Philippines launch joint South China Sea patrols

US Navy personnel raise their flag during a bilateral maritime exercise with the Philippine Navy in the South China Sea in 2014
AFP

Manila (AFP) – The US said Thursday it has launched joint South China Sea patrols with the Philippines, and will temporarily deploy 275 troops and five warplanes in the country which is locked in a territorial row with China. 

The joint naval patrols, which began last month, “contribute to the safety and security of the region’s waters,” Defence Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters after a meeting with Philippines President Benigno Aquino.

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