Philippines wars China of undermining Regional Peace

Philippines wars China of undermining Regional Peace

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Philippines wars China of undermining Regional Peace

With BRAHMOS missiles arriving from India, Manila warned China for the excessive maritime claims and aggressive behaviour, including its militarization of reclaimed features, that are undermining regional peace and stability in the West Philippine Sea and areas around it.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remains upbeat with the upcoming delivery of the BrahMos cruise missile system from India to counter Chinese moves. BRAHMOS the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world will increase the capability of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC).

The acquisition of the BrahMos missile system was conceptualized as early as 2017 and approved by the Office of the President in 2020 as part of the “Horizon” 2 Priority Projects under the revised modernization program of the AFP amid tension in the West Philippine Sea involving Chinese vessels’ incursions.

Through a letter dated Dec. 31, 2021, then Defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana issued the Notice of Award for the Philippine Navy’s “Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile” (SBASM) Acquisition Project to the BrahMos Aerospace.

The missile system costs US$374,962,800 or around P18.9 billion, and will be utilized by the Marine Coastal Defence Regiment to “provide deterrence against any attempt to undermine the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights, especially in the West Philippine Sea.”

According to Indian manufacturer BrahMos Aerospace, the BrahMos missile has a flight range of up to 290 km with supersonic speed all through the flight which leads to a shorter flight time and ensures a lower dispersion of its target, a quicker engagement time, and a capability that cannot be intercepted “by any known weapon system in the world.”

In February 2023, 21 Filipino Marines completed a training in India where they obtained the skills to operate and maintain a SBASM system for the integration of the BrahMos missile into the PMC’s system.

Philippines on Apr 11 also participated in the US-Japan-Philippines trilateral summit . This conference comes after the creation of groupings in the Indo-Pacific, starting with the Quad, comprising India, the US, Australia and Japan for freedom of the Seas . Also the AUKUS, consisting of Australia, the US and the UK, amid their increasing concerns over China’s military muscle-flexing in the region.

The Philippines Foreign Ministry said in an official statement on Thursday said that participating in the summit was its ‘sovereign choice’ and was aimed at strengthening and promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

“It is the sovereign choice and decision of the Philippines to strengthen its alliance with the United States and strategic partnership with Japan, in accordance with our national interests and in line with our independent foreign policy. Our actions are in line with international law and complement our commitments in other regional and multilateral forums,” the Philippines Foreign Ministry said in an official statement on Thursday.

“Trilateral cooperation is a partnership and a cooperative framework for the promotion of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. It is an admirable aspiration that should not be considered a threat by any peace-loving country,” the statement said.