MANILA — China's military drills around Taiwan will "greatly affect" the Philippines because of its geographic proximity and interest in security, a security studies expert said Monday.
"We don't want any instability in the Taiwan Strait because that would have great impact on Philippine security," Rommel Banlaoi, president of the Philippine Society for Intelligence and Security Studies, told ANC's "Headstart".
"We are hosting American military facilities and if the US decides to use these military facilities to act in any military contingencies in Taiwan, then surely the Philippines will be a target of possible China's military action also," he added.
Banlaoi said the Philippines must pay serious attention on the developments in Taiwan Strait.
"And [we need to] pay greater attention on the need to avoid military conflict in the Taiwan Strait and promote the peaceful management of the ongoing tensions in the Taiwan Strait," he added.
China launched the military drills on Saturday, in what it called a "stern warning" to the self-ruled island's government following a meeting between its president and the US House speaker.
Dubbed "United Sharp Sword", the 3-day operation will run until Monday, the People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theater Command said in a statement.
It will take place in "the maritime areas and air space of the Taiwan Strait, off the northern and southern coasts of the island, and to the island's east", said Shi Yin, a PLA spokesman, according to state news agency Xinhua.
The exercise will also include live-fire drills on Monday off the coast of China's Fujian province, which faces Taiwan, the local maritime authority said in a statement.
The drills come after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen angered Beijing by meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.
China views democratic, self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary.
— With a report from Agence France-Presse