The Philippine military's chief of staff has declared intentions to conduct collaborative maritime and aviation patrols with states sharing similar views
amidst increasing tensions with Chinese forces in the South China Sea.
"The planning process is currently underway," stated General Romeo Brawner Jr. during an interview with CNN Philippines'
The Source on Tuesday. "We will be carrying out collaborative maritime and air patrols in the West Philippine Sea alongside the United States.
Japan has expressed interest, as well as France, the United Kingdom, and Canada."
The West Philippine Sea refers to the areas of the South China Sea that are located inside the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, which extends up to 200 nautical miles from Manila.
In the South China Sea, there are intense conflicts over territory, with China claiming control over more than 80 percent of the region.
However, a verdict by an international arbitral court in 2016 dismissed China's claims.
Brawner said the proposed multinational patrols could start as early as the first half of the next year.
South Korea has emerged as a potential partner for joint patrols. The ambassador of the East Asian nation to the Philippines, Lee Sang-hwa, stated to local media on Tuesday
the bilateral relationship between the two nations is seeing significant progress and Seoul is keen on elevating it to the status of a "strategic partnership."
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