China gets disinvited from world’s largest naval drill RIMPAC

The United States Department of Defense has disinvited China from participating in world’s largest multilateral maritime warfare exercise Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) 2018. RIMPAC is being hosted by United States Navy’s Pacific Fleet every other year.

The withdrawal of invitation came after China installed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missile systems and conducted H-6K bomber drill in South China Sea.

“China’s continued militarisation of disputed features in the South China Sea only serves to raise tensions and destabilise the region,” US Department of Defense spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan said in a statement.

“China’s behaviour is inconsistent with the principles and purposes of the Rim of the Pacific exercises,” he added.

In press briefing with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 23 in Washington, DC, Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi said the disinvitation is “very unconstructive move, nonconstructive move.”

“It’s also a decision that’s taken lightly. It’s unhelpful to mutual understanding between China and the U.S. We hope the U.S. will change such a negative mindset. Both China, the U.S. are big countries, and we are well positioned to have greater cooperation at sea. Mil-to-mil exchanges will help to increase mutual trust. It will also help us to make greater efforts towards world peace and stability,” the Chinese official added.