Pentagon Disinvites China From Major Naval Exercise Over South China Sea Buildup

27 May, 2018, 14:10 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • US Excludes China From Military Drill Over South China Sea Actions

The Pentagon has pulled its invitation for China to join maritime exercises in the Pacific because of Beijing's "continued militarization" of the South China Sea amid increased tensions between the two nations.

The Pentagon disinvited China from participating in a major naval exercise on Wednesday, signaling mounting US anger over Beijing's expanded military footprint in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

China, however, has consistently denied using the islands for military use and says that they are for civilian use and necessary self-defence purposes.

Chinese Foreign Minister and Vice Premier Wang Yi, in Washington, D.C., for unrelated meetings with US officials, told reporters that the move was "very unconstructive" in China's view.

US Excludes China From Military Drill Over South China Sea Actions

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

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.

"Being invited or not can not change China's will to play a role in protecting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and can not shake China's firm determination to defend its sovereignty and security interests". Hours after the Fox report was published, the Pentagon a issued statement disinviting China from this year's RIMPAC exercise. "In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States".

China claims most of the South China Sea, believed to hold vast oil and gas deposits and through which $5 trillion in trade passes annually. It has built up islands and military installations across the region. Since 1972, the US has recognized China as the sole legitimate government, but has offered arms to Taiwan. "This move sends a strong signal (to Beijing) that its reckless behavior in the South China Sea carries with it real consequences".

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As a result, Logan said that China was no longer welcome to attend the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational naval drills.

The United States has dispatched warships to disputed areas of the South China Sea in a bid to challenge China's extensive sovereignty claims in the territory, which is subject to various claims by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia.

He cited the deployment of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles on the Spratly Islands and the landing of a bomber on Woody Island.

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

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Logan described China's activities as a "violation of the promise that [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] made to the United States and the world". "China's landing of bomber aircraft at Woody Island has also raised tensions". 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".

Following the July 2016 ruling by the Hague-based arbitral tribunal in the Philippines' favor in its 2013 case against China over maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, Beijing observed that reputational costs for its militarization and other activities in the region were negligible.

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