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WASHINGTON – Even though China has displayed hostility toward the United States for having its warships into the South China Sea, Beijing has been invited to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, naval exercise to be held off Hawaii, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
However, there are concerns about this participation.
Part of having China participate is the hope that there can be closer U.S.-Chinese military-to-military cooperation and coordination, but recent comments by Chinese President Xi Jinping suggest a new military assertiveness on China’s part that will be a challenge to U.S. military presence in the area.
China has been very vocal about U.S. military elements in East Asia where U.S. policy is pivoting as it reassesses its role in other trouble spots in the world, such as the Middle East.
In pivoting toward East Asia, the U.S. also is insisting on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, which then complicates relations between the two countries.
For example, China already has made it known that it has developed the DF-21D anti-ship missile which some call a “carrier killer.” There aren’t too many countries in that region with aircraft carriers, except the U.S.
“The missile is dubbed the ‘carrier killer’ because it can be configured to explode in midair, raining down sharp metal on a deck crowded with planes, ordinance, fuel and sailors,” said East Asia expert Gordon G. Chang. “Its apparent intent is to drive U.S. forces out of East Asia.”
In one 2010 publication, Jinping told senior officers and colonels to relish combat – “hand-to-hand fight with the U.S.” It’s a strange comment, given that Jinping has spoken about how economic relations between the two countries will minimize any military confrontation.
Given these belligerent tendencies on Beijing’s part, the concern over its participation in RIMPAC, which also includes U.S. allies and friends in the region, is that it will learn strategies and ultimately develop countermeasures.
China regards the South China Sea area as being in its domain – the entire body of water, including all the undersea minerals and islands that exist in it.
This has put China at odds with its neighbors and, as WND has previously reported, has placed it and such countries as Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan on a footing of possible military confrontation.
There have been recent episodes in which Chinese warships have shown up in areas where the smaller area countries may be fishing or exploring for undersea minerals, including new sources of energy.
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