Are US military drills in Asia-Pacific a veiled attempt to curb Chinese power?

© South Korean Defence Ministry, Reuters

Recent US military activity in the Asia-Pacific is on the rise, including drills in the Philippines and South Korea as well as a submarine deal struck between the US and Australia. China has, meanwhile, accused the US of encircling the country. FRANCE 24 speaks with an expert to shed light on the mounting tensions.

The United States said Tuesday that it will hold the largest joint military exercises ever with the Philippines next month, which would include, for the first time, live-fire exercises in the disputed South China Sea and a simulated defence of a tiny Philippine island nearly 300 kilometres (190 miles) south of Taiwan. The announcement came on the heels of concerns voiced by China over similar military drills conducted by the US and South Korea on the Korean peninsula. Washington and Seoul on Monday launched their largest joint military exercises in half a decade, provoking a harsh response from North Korea as it fired two missiles into waters off its east coast.

With tensions rising in the Asia-Pacific, FRANCE 24 talked to Marc Julienne, head of China research at the Centre for Asian Studies of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) to shed light on the current situation.

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