CHINA JOINS PRACTICE
Rim of the Pacific 2018, Adm. Richardson’s spokesman demurred.
“He was not advocating for or against inviting the opposition to attend our practices,” Cmdr. Chris Servello said. “What he was saying is that it’s inevitable that our training will be more and more closely observed as sensors proliferate. We won’t have a choice, they’ll be watching.”
Cmdr. Servello said inviting China to participate in RIMPAC, as the biannual exercises are called, is “a totally different issue” and he then insisted the U.S. relationship with China is complex, without explaining why.
“We can craft international exercises like RIMPAC, the world’s largest multilateral maritime exercise, and it is a venue for wider inclusion, not narrower, to reinforce where we agree and reduce risk where we don’t,” he said. “All the while, we can be smart about what gets openly revealed.”
Days after the comment, the Navy announced China would be invited back to RIMPAC next year when navies from 25 other nations will take part. The exercises are held in Pacific waters near Hawaii and southern California.
China in the past has abused its participation in the exercises by sending intelligencegathering ships to spy and learn what it can about sensitive U.S. and allied naval maneuver warfare capabilities it may encounter in the future.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson the ability of the U.S. military to deter conventional conflict is eroding.