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Academia: United States igniting the Conflict between Philippines and China (2)

By Ander Vltchek  (People's Daily Online)

11:33, May 08, 2012

Pro-independence and anti-Western grafitti copy (People's Daily Online/Ander Vltchek)

It all works well this time. I salute, the guard salutes, I shift the gear and get lost, quickly.

In the hotel lobby I find theentire bunch of my compatriots in full combat gear. Men and women, some Caucasian, some of Asian descent, all apparently ready for action. It is clear they are here for Balikatan. I ask them in a casual tone, referring to the joint military exercises between the Philippine and US armed forces.

Members of the air force creware grinningto their teeth.They let me photograph them, but no answers to my questions are forthcoming.

As I leave the hotel, I realize that all of us are grinning at each other and I have no idea why.

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