The Pentagon disinvited China from participating in a major naval exercise on Wednesday, signaling mounting U.S. anger over Beijing’s expanded military footprint in disputed areas of the South China Sea.
Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Defense Department had withdrawn an earlier invitation to the Chinese navy to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) drill, a biennial naval exercise that involves more than two dozen nations, over Beijing’s decision to place anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers on the Spratly Islands.
Those islands, which China has enlarged and occupied in recent years, are subject to competing claims from several countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
“We believe these recent deployments and the continued militarization of these features is a violation of the promise that President Xi [Jinping] made to the United States and the world,” Logan said in a statement.
The Pentagon said that China has also landed bomber aircraft, apparently including the advanced, nuclear-capable H-6K, at Woody Island, in another disputed area to the north claimed by China and Vietnam.
Read the Full Article at The Washington Post