CHINA JOINS PRAC­TICE

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

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.

U.S. NAVY

Chief of Naval Op­er­a­tions Adm. John Richardson the abil­ity of the U.S. mil­i­tary to de­ter con­ven­tional con­flict is erod­ing.

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