U.S. to invite China to RIMPAC
By AUDREY McAVOY
HONOLULU — The U.S. intends to ask China to a send a ship to join the world’s largest maritime exercises for the first time in Hawaiian waters in two years.
The Navy will invite the Asian nation to send a ship to the 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercises, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday.
China sent military observers to watch the drills in 1998, but has never sent a vessel.
Panetta said he discussed ways to extend cooperation between the two militaries during a meeting with China’s national defense minister, Gen. Liang Guanglie.
The defense secretary noted that China and the U.S. participated this week in an exercise to counter pirates in the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen.
“To build on this positive momentum, I informed General Liang today that the United States Navy will invite China to send a ship to participate in RIMPAC 2014 exercise,” Panetta said in a transcript of the news conference provided by the Pentagon.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet hosts the drills every two years.
This year, 22 countries participated, including Japan, Russia and South Korea. The exercises lasted over a month and included 25,000 sailors and other military personnel, 42 surface ships, six submarines and 200 aircraft.
It’s not clear what role China would play during the next drills.
“There are a lot of details to work out in the next 18 months for all nations participating in RIMPAC 2014, including China,” Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Darryn James said in a statement.
Each nation has a chance to train for its objectives, and all participant objectives would be considered during planning, he said.
The exercises date back to 1971 and have expanded in recent years. Eight nations took part in 2006, 10 in 2008, and 14 two years ago.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.