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US-Philippines start "Balikatan" Joint Military Exercise in Indo-Pacific region

Published on April 15, 2023
Current Context: On 11 April 2023, the US and the Philippines have started their annual "Balikatan" military exercises and it aims to improve the respective armies' ability to jointly respond to threats in the Indo-Pacific region.
US-Philippines start "Balikatan" Joint Military Exercise in Indo-Pacific region
  • The Balikatan exercise, which means "shoulder to shoulder", has been conducted since 1991, reflecting the Philippines' close ties with the US in foreign policy.
  • The joint military exercise aims to strengthen the Philippines' military capabilities and deter China's assertiveness in the region.
  • This year's exercise is set to be the largest ever, with over 17,000 troops participating, over 12,000 of whom will be from the US.
  • One of the exercises will simulate a defence of a small island in the Philippines and a simulated target warship off the coast of Zambales province in the South China Sea, with live-fire drills involved.
  • Under the 1951 Mutual Défense Agreement (MDA), the US and the Philippines have been treaty partners for many years.
  • In 2014, the two countries signed the Enhanced Défense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which is their most recent agreement.

Question:

Q.1 Who have recently started the "Balikatan" joint military exercise in Indo-Pacific region?
a. US-Pacific
b. US-China
c. Sri Lanka – China
d. US-Sri Lanka
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