US Excludes China From Military Drill Over South China Sea Actions

US Excludes China From Military Drill Over South China Sea Actions

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, an official said Wednesday, in the latest sign of US-China strains.

In the wake of China blatantly disregarding the neutrality of the disputed Spratly Islands by expanding Beijing's military into the South China Sea, the United States has made a decision to revoke Chinese participation rights in a worldwide major naval exercise starting from 23rd May, 2018.

Pompeo said he had raised United States "concern" with Wang about Beijing's activities in the South China Sea, and that he would leave decisions about global military exercises to the defence department.

This was reported by the official representative of the U.S. Department of defense Lieutenant Colonel Chris Logan, reports AFP. In addition, it wants China to roll back policies that require the transfer of intellectual property to Chinese firms as a condition for access to the Chinese market. The exercise is largest global Navy exercise, with 27 nations slated to participate in this year's version.

"The Pentagon's decision on disinvitation of Chinese military in the RIMPAC exercise, we find that a very unconstructive move, non-constructive move". That followed reports of China deploying anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on the disputed Spratly Islands.

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

China's defence ministry responded that "invited or not, China will never change its firmly defend its national sovereignty and security interests" in the South China Sea.

Large military transport aircraft have also been spotted on Subi and other Chinese islands in the contested sea in recent months.

US Excludes China From Military Drill Over South China Sea Actions
US Excludes China From Military Drill Over South China Sea Actions

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". It comes at a time of considerable uncertainty in U.S.

Logan said "strong evidence" has revealed China's deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and electronic jammers on disputed reefs and atoll in the South China Sea.

The U.S. had included China the past two years in the large-scale exercise known as Rim of the Pacific, or RimPac, as part of an effort during the Obama administration to stabilize military relations with Beijing, which have been disrupted many times by China's objections to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a White House press conference with President Barack Obama in 2015 that Beijing "did not intend to pursue militarization" of islands it controlled in the Spratly chain.

A Washington think tank, CSIS, said the bomber landed on Woody Island.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea but Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

China says it has every right to build what it calls necessary defensive facilities on its own territory. China has generally participated.

Held every two years and based in Hawaii, the Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC) involves more than 20 countries from across the world, including Australia, India, Japan and the United Kingdom.

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