Both the Philippines and Japan are conducting military drills with the US

Both the Philippines and Japan are holding independent war games/drills with the US. It’s fairly obvious that these are being held in response to China’s actions over the last few years. Japan has also vowed to directly help the Philippines in its conflict with China.

In the mean time, all the countries involved continue trading as if nothing is going on. When are they going to stop trading with China? Perhaps only after the bombs starting falling.

Philippines, US hold ‘war games’ near shoal

The Philippines and the US naval forces on Thursday started  “war games” scheduled to last for six days near a shoal in the South China Sea whose ownership is disputed by Manila and Beijing, a Philippine Navy (PN) spokesman reported.

Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic said participating in the war games to be held about 108 kilometres from the disputed Scarborough Shoal are 1,000 Filipino and American naval forces under the annual Co-operation Readiness and Training (Carat) exercise between the two countries.

gulftoday.ae | Philippines, US hold ‘war games’ near shoal

Japan, U.S. start drill involving recapture of island | GlobalPost

The United States and Japan on Monday began a drill in California to practice recapturing control of remote islands, using MV-22 Osprey aircraft for landing exercises at the request of the U.S. military.

It is the first time that Japan’s Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces have jointly participated in such a drill on the U.S. mainland.

Japan, U.S. start drill involving recapture of island | GlobalPost

AFP: Japan vows to help Philippines amid China sea row

Japan pledged on Thursday to help the Philippines defend its “remote islands”, as both governments expressed concern over China’s robust moves to stake its claims to disputed Asian waters.

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Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said China’s contentious claim to nearly all of the South China Sea and its territorial dispute with Japan in the East China Sea were discussed during top-level talks in Manila.

“We agreed that we will further co-operate in terms of the defence of remote islands… the defence of territorial seas as well as protection of maritime interests,” Onodera told a joint news conference.

AFP: Japan vows to help Philippines amid China sea row

China is watching all of this coordination between various countries. This is what it has to say:

Confrontation over the South China Sea ‘doomed’, China tells claimants | Reuters

“If certain claimant countries choose confrontation, that path will be doomed,” Wang said after a speech at the annual Tsinghua World Peace Forum.

“If such countries try to reinforce their poorly grounded claims through the help of external forces, that will be futile and will eventually prove to be a strategic miscalculation not worth the effort.”

The Philippine military said this week it had revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the South China Sea.

Confrontation over the South China Sea ‘doomed’, China tells claimants | Reuters

China appears to be relatively unstable at this time. Facilitating a Chinese revolution might be one option to consider. That means the US and as many of its so-called allies as possible stop trading with China. Or one could start ratcheting up tariffs on Chinese goods. Of course, none of this will happen because that involves too much pain.

As I have often said, is it ever a good idea to trade with hostile countries that have nuclear weapons pointed at you?