Philippines says US mid-range missile system to be pulled out

A US mid-range missile system deployed in the Philippines for annual joint military exercises — to the annoyance of China — will be pulled out of the country, a Philippine Army spokesman said Thursday.

The US Army said in April it had deployed the Mid-Range Capability missile system which can fire the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile in the northern Philippines.

Philippine troops have been taught how to use and maintain the Typhon missile system, but it was not used in live-fire exercises, Colonel Louie Dema-ala told AFP.

“As per plan… it will be shipped out of the country in September or even earlier,” Dema-ala said.

“The US Army is currently shipping out their equipment that we used during Balikatan and Salaknib (exercises).”

The presence of the mid-range missile system on Philippine soil had angered Beijing.

Chinese Defence Minister Dong Jun warned in June there were “limits” to Beijing’s restraint on the South China Sea and over the deployment of ballistic missiles in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dong’s remarks at a security forum in Singapore were a clear reference to the Philippines and the United States, which have been boosting defence ties in the face of China’s growing military might and influence.

The deployment of “medium-range ballistic missiles” was “severely damaging regional security and stability”, Dong said.

“Acting in this way will ultimately burn oneself.”


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