US Withdraws China's Invite To RIMPAC Military Drills

China's indigenous aircraft carrier lifts anchor in Dalian in northeast China in a file

Earlier this month China deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on the disputed Spratly Islands off the Philippine coast, CNBC reported, citing sources close to USA intelligence.

China's Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi said the United States decision to exclude it from Rimpac was "very non-constructive".

China has intensified its military activity in the South China Sea, performing more frequent and larger-scale drills. It was another significant step in Beijing's militarization of disputed territories in the region - and more evidence of how President Trump has been strategically outplayed by his "friend" Xi Jinping.

Beijing claims virtually all the South China Sea and has ignored partial counter-claims from the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia.

VN Express reported Wednesday the explosion took place Sunday near the Paracel Islands, where China is believed to have recently tested the takeoff and landing capabilities of its bombers. The U.S. has also accused China of establishing secret military bases on the islands, where China publicly announced for the first time last week it landed its nuclear-capable H-6K bombers.

The U.S. military calls RimPac the world's largest worldwide maritime exercise and says it "helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans".

As it continued to build runways and install radar equipment on the islands, Chinese officials said the military equipment was meant for defensive purposes and did not constitute "militarization" of the islands.

The Pentagon said the invitation was withdrawn in response to what it sees as Beijing's militarization of islands in the disputed South China Sea, a strategic waterway claimed in large part by China. The move is said to be in response to Beijing's recent escalation of the militarization of islands in the South China Sea, which has been well-documented by worldwide reports.

Washington also is engaged in a sprawling trade dispute with China over US complaints about market access and technology policy. "China's response will be to adjust its information warfare, but China's strategy will remain on course, unperturbed by US actions thus far", he said.

While not addressing the rescinded invitation directly, Pompeo said the USA has "expressed consistent concern about militarization of the South China Sea".

Pompeo said at the same briefing that the U.S. has been consistent in raising its concerns about China's behavior in the South China Sea. Countries surrounding the South China Sea could eventually find themselves forced to accept Chinese hegemony in the region. China has participated in the naval drills since 2014.

RIMPAC is slated to begin June 27 and last until August 2, according to officials.

The US withdrawal of an invitation to such a symbolic event comes at a hard time in relations between the two sides and is potentially just the first setback in military exchanges between them, said Zhang Yuquan, an worldwide relations specialist at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou. This year's exercise is slated to run from June 27 through August 2.

Besides, China's past record at RIMPAC isn't exactly stellar. "Mil-to-mil exchanges will help to increase mutual trust. China's behavior and actions have become more recalcitrant, more aggressive, more dismissive of the rule of law, and more unsafe to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region despite the United States' engagement policy".

Related News:

Most liked

White House team to go to Singapore for Trump-Kim summit prep
Korea summit an opportunity to make substantial progress on North Korea's nuclear, missile and abduction issues. President Trump said on Friday that the summit might even be held on the originally scheduled date of June 12.

Australian grandmother sentenced to death by hanging for drug smuggling
In Malaysia, there is now a mandatory death penalty for anyone found with more than 50g of an illegal drug. An Australian grandmother has been sentenced to death by hanging in Malaysia on drug smuggling charges.

US Stocks Jump as Fears of Trade War Ebb
Trump's assault on the rules-based order extends also - and ominously - to trade. In addition, 79 types of tariffs for auto parts will fall to 6 percent.

Du Plessis blasts Chennai into final
With Kumar and Kaul bowling in tandem, du Plessis was once again just an onlooker as Dhoni tried to fend away their overs. Chennai Super Kings players celebrate after defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1 to make the final of IPL XI.

'American Idol' Contestants Caleb Lee Hutchinson & Maddie Poppe Are Dating
Maddie Poppe is your next American Idol! "I've known her since Hollywood Week, and she actually happens to be my girlfriend ". Maddie adds, "I just can't even believe, you know I felt like I was kind of an underdog for a while".

EXTRA: M&S Annual Profit Falls As Costs Of Transformation Plan Hit
Prior to Wednesday's update analysts were on average forecasting an underlying pretax profit of 555 million pounds for 2018-19. The figure of more than 100 closures includes 21 that have already shut and 14 stores newly identified for closure.

America will be represented at 2018 World Cup, thanks to Will Smith
Prior to that, Vibe reported that, according to reggaeton producer DJ Nelson , Smith and Nicky Jam were working on the song . Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez's " We Are One (Ole Ola )" was the official anthem of the 2014 tournament, held in Brazil.

European allies alarmed by Pompeo speech laying out U.S. demands on Iran
Pompeo said he understood that Trump's decision "will pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends". In his speech at the Heritage Foundation, Pompeo also said Washington would impose unprecedented sanctions against Tehran.

YouTube launching music streaming, rebranding YouTube Red
YouTube is the #1 way most people listen to music on the internet, via musc videos , but most people are doing that for free . We say this because YouTube has announced two new products that will replace YouTube Red .

The Most Underappreciated Story In The Oil Market
The U.S. has said it is possible there will be secondary sanctions imposed on European companies who continue to deal with Iran. Global inventories of crude and fuel have dropped sharply in recent months owing to robust demand and Opec-led production cuts.

Illinois Governor Wants to Bring Back Death Penalty
Rauner described the 72-hour waiting period as a "cooling off" period that extends IL 24-hour waiting period two more days. Raoul said Rauner should be paying attention to public safety bills that have support from both sides of the aisle.

MI5 thwarting monthly terror attacks in United Kingdom , warns spy chief
Next Tuesday the United Kingdom will mark one year since the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 22 people attending a concert. The thwarted attacks include alleged plans to carry out carnage at tourist attractions, pop concerts and government buildings.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has had no contact with Napoli
Kicker say Bayern Munich are very much looking at Kenedy as a left back, and they point out Benitez sees the youngster playing further forward.

Father speaks out after Australia's worst mass shooting for decades
Police said they have no information that would raise concerns about wider public safety, suggesting a shooter is not at large. "At 5.15am yesterday morning, police received a triple 0 emergency call from a male person", Commissioner Dawson said.

Man City's Pep Guardiola: '100 points, I still can not believe it'
Manchester City were confirmed champions with three rounds of fixtures left. "Once again our consistency showed up today". Along the way, they amassed a record-equalling 11 successive away wins, a feat previously achieved by Chelsea in 2008.