In a joint military drill, US Naval ships along with allies from Japan, Australia and South Korea participated in their first collaborative military exercise in the Western Pacific, according to the US Navy, Reuters has reported.
The joint military exercise took place ahead of Trump’s visit to Japan this weekend as the US attempts to back its allies in Asia to fend off China’s military power in the Pacific.
"Pacific Vanguard joins forces from four, like-minded maritime nations that provide security throughout the Indo-Pacific based on shared values and common interests," Vice Admiral Phillip Sawyer, commander of the US Navy's Seventh Fleet, said in a statement.
On Wednesday, May 23rd, the US Navy sent two ships through the Taiwan Strait, its latest transit through the sensitive waterway and a move likely to anger Beijing at a time of tense relations between the world's two biggest economies.
Trump paused at first to participate in the joint military drill mainly due to financial costs of the drill. Trump said in a tweet, “The reason I do not want military drills with South Korea is to save hundreds of millions of dollars for the US for which we are not reimbursed. That was my position long before I became President. Also, reducing tensions with North Korea at this time is a good thing!”
With trade tensions growing between Washington and Beijing, China earlier this week denounced a US warship sail-by near disputed islands in the South China Sea.