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US live-fire maneuvers in Indonesia after tensions with China

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Thousands of soldiers from Indonesia, the United States and their allies took part in live-fire drills on Friday in what a US general called regional conflict prevention work after Chinese operations in Taiwan.

“Super Garuda Shield”, the annual exercise held in Indonesia, comes after China’s maneuvers around Taiwan, in response to the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to the island, that Beijing claims.

The United States and its allies in Asia expressed growing concern over China’s growing presence in the Pacific, though Washington said these major moves were not targeted against any one nation.

“The destabilizing action of the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan is exactly what we want to avoid,” Admiral John Aquilino, head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, said at a news conference after the operations.

At least 4,000 US and Indonesian soldiers, supported by troops from Australia, Singapore and Japan are participating in this exercise.

In a mountainous area, the military tested Javelin anti-tank missiles, while Apache helicopters hovered over the area firing volleys of machine guns and missiles.

The head of the Indonesian army Andika Perkasa denied that the extensive deployment of means in these annual exercises is related to the growing tension with China.

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