Facing China, the Philippines and U.S. Join in Biggest Military Drill Yet

After years of saying it would not choose sides, the Philippines is now asserting a need to stand up to China’s territorial moves in the South China Sea.

Sui-Lee Wee

By Sui-Lee Wee

Reporting from joint military exercises in San Antonio, Philippines

April 26, 2023Updated 8:50 a.m. ET


“When China’s foreign minister visited the Philippines last weekend, he had a stern message for President Ferdinand E. Marcos Jr. of the Philippines: It was vital that Manila “properly handle issues” related to Taiwan and the South China Sea, and follow through on its earlier commitment not to choose sides, he said.

On Wednesday, Mr. Marcos turned up at the Philippines’ annual military drills with the United States dressed in an army fatigue jacket and closely inspecting an American rocket launcher. Later, he sat next to the American ambassador as they watched artillery units take out a target ship nearby.”