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Joint military drills launched amid criticism

By PRIME SARMIENTO in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-12 07:11

Changing landscape

The changing geopolitical landscape and regional security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region has led to the signing of EDCA in 2014, according to Chester Cabalza, founder and president of the Manila-based think tank International Development and Security Cooperation.

Cabalza said the Philippines is now a "middle power" amid the competition between China and the US. He said as a middle power, the Philippines can serve as a "bridge builder". "The middle power role works best in the ambiguity of great power politics," he said, citing the evolving nature of Philippine foreign policy.

Henry Chan, visiting senior fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, said the group members "don't want militarization of the region". He said ASEAN countries want a stable international environment and economic development.

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