China scolds US for withdrawing invite to naval drills

May 24, 2018 Off By Web Desk

China’s Defence Ministry expressed regret on Thursday after the United States withdrew an invitation to China to attend a major U.S.-hosted naval drill, saying that closing the door does not promote mutual trust and cooperation.

The Rim of the Pacific exercise, known as RIMPAC and previously attended by China, is billed as the world’s largest international maritime exercise and held every two years in Hawaii in June and July.

RIMPAC enabled the armed forces of the world’s two largest economies to directly engage with each other. It was viewed by both countries as a way to ease tensions and reduce the risk of miscalculation should they meet under less friendly circumstances.

The Pentagon said the withdrawal of the invitation was in response to what it sees as Beijing’s militarization of islands in the disputed South China Sea, a strategic waterway claimed in large part by Beijing.

In a brief statement, China’s Defence Ministry said the United States had ignored the facts and hyped up the so-called ‘militarization’ of the South China Sea, using it as an excuse to uninvite China.

This decision by the United States is not constructive. Closing the door to communication at any time is not conducive toward promoting mutual trust and communication between the Chinese and U.S. militaries, it added.

China’s island-building program in the South China Sea has sparked concern around the region and in Washington about Chinese intentions.

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

Source: Radio Pakistan