US decision to disinvite China from RIMPAC very unconstructive: Chinese Councilor Wang

Posted May 27, 2018

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan says that the revoked invitation was "an initial response" to China's "continued militarization of the South China Sea".

"We have called on China to remove the military systems immediately and to reverse course on the militarization of disputed South China Sea features", the statement added.

The Rim of the Pacific exercise, known as RIMPAC and previously attended by China, is billed as the world's largest global maritime exercise and held every two years in Hawaii in June and July.

The U.S. has disinvited China from upcoming pan-Pacific naval exercises, citing its growing military presence in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

Ren criticized the U.S. decision as "not constructive" and called on Washington to "focus on the overall situation, abandon the zero-sum mentality, properly handle differences, and try to make the mil-to-mil relationship a stable factor for China-U.S. relations".

As it did in 2014, the PLA for the 2016 exercises also dispatched an uninvited intelligence-gathering ship to monitor the exercises-a gesture of Beijing's unfriendly intentions, a defense official said.

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Besides, China's past record at RIMPAC isn't exactly stellar.

The first RIMPAC was held in 1971 as a joint exercise between the US, Australia and Canada. China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves.

Nonetheless, it appears that China is entrenched to the point that it can not be forced out of the South China Sea.

As one of the world's largest trade passages, most nations prefer the South China Sea to remain as global waters.

While the USA and Chinese militaries coordinate in some areas, the United States has expressed concern about China's growing arsenal of sophisticated weapons and its attempt to project its might across Asia and beyond. China participated in military exercises in 2014 and 2016.

An invitation to the exercise, scheduled to start in June, carries political clout, and the disinvitation is likely to heighten U.S. "This move sends a strong signal (to Beijing) that its reckless behavior in the South China Sea carries with it real consequences". China's air force recently announced it landed nuclear-capable bombers on one of the islands.

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The exclusion of the Chinese navy from the RIMPAC is expected to coerce China into reversing the militarization in these areas; thereby giving them a chance to not violate all the peace promises made by President Xi Jinping.

China's Defence Ministry expressed regret on Thursday after the United States withdrew an invitation to China to attend a major USA -hosted naval drill, saying that closing the door does not promote mutual trust and co-operation.

On the militarisation in the South China Sea, Wang said, "China is only building civilian and some necessary defense facilities on its own islands".

"We hope that the United States will change such a negative mindset".

Woody Island is the largest of the Paracel Islands in South China Sea, and is also claimed by Taiwan and by Vietnam. He said, "our goal remains to convince China that its best future comes from peaceful cooperation, meaningful participation in the current rules-based worldwide order, and honoring its global commitments".

Subi Reef, located some 1,200km (750 miles) from China's coast, now has almost 400 individual buildings - far more than the other Chinese islands according to private sector data, Reuters reported on Thursday.

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