China’s License to Participate in 2018 RIMPAC Revoked by the Pentagon

Sunday, 27 May, 2018

In recent months, China has deployed electronic warfare equipment and possibly surface-to-air missiles to the Spratly Islands, where it maintains seven artificial islands, and it has, for the first time, landed an H-6K strategic bomber on Woody Island in the Paracels.

An Fengshan, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said last week that China's intensified military mobilization was meant to show that "there is no way out for 'Taiwan independence'".

Logan described China's activities as a "violation of the promise that [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] made to the United States and the world".

The Spratly archipelago is disputed from six countries: Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines and Brunei. "The Chinese were not part of the core aspects anyway", he said, referring to the past two drills where China took part in areas such as disaster relief and search and rescue operations.

Logan said China's landing of bomber aircraft at Woody Island has also raised tensions.

China's participation in the past two drills improved understanding between the Chinese, US and other navies, its knowledge of how foreign exercises are conducted, and experience in worldwide search and rescue cooperation - but it did not help much with its military capabilities, according to Li.

"Apart from the freedom of navigation missions and the strong rhetoric, the United States hasn't been able to corral together a coalition of the willing, to effectively to get China to stop the militarisation of the South China Sea".

The United States has disinvited China from a major USA -hosted naval drill this year as an "initial" response to what it sees as Beijing's militarization of islands in the South China Sea, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

Wang, who had been meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, added, "Both China and the U.S. are big countries, and we're well-positioned to have greater cooperation at sea".

Washington also is engaged in a sprawling trade dispute with China over USA complaints about market access and technology policy.

An invitation to the exercise, scheduled to start in June, carries political clout, and the disinvitation is likely to heighten U.S.

The Pentagon says it has disinvited China from a multinational military exercise to be held this summer in the Pacific. China has participated in the naval drills since 2014. Plans for this year's 26th RIMPAC were finalized last month with over 1,000 personnel from 27 nations set to participate, including debut appearances from Brazil, Israel, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

He criticized Navy leaders for appeasing the Chinese with consecutive invitations to exercise despite increasing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.

Chinese officials said the announcement was "a very unconstructive move", and that they hope the U.S. will change its "negative mindset".

China has not yet publicly responded to its expulsion from RIMPAC.

China's brazen landing of nuclear-capable bombers on an island in the disputed South China Sea is a bold power play to bolster its territorial claims while rivals are divided and the U.S. distracted by North Korea, analysts say.

"I also want to stress that it is the US who proposed to enhance mil-to-mil exchanges between the two countries in the first place".

For instance, we may see the United States not only increase its already considerable presence in the South China Sea, but engage in bilateral exercises with regional partners and allies more frequently. As Mr. Davidson suggested, the United States would be unable to reverse that dominion short of a almost unthinkable war.