WASHINGTON: China’s participation in the US-led biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational maritime drills is a “perfect example” of security cooperation between the world’s powers, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said.
China’s decision to participate in the RIMPAC is a signal of common security cooperation in the Pacific, Carter stated.
“China will be participating in RIMPAC. That’s a perfect example… of countries working together, their militaries working together for common purpose,” Carter noted during a news conference at a security summit in Singapore.
China previously participated in RIMPAC in 2014, but its participation in this year’s exercise was cast in doubt as a result of tensions in the South China Sea and an expanded US presence in the Asia Pacific.
Carter was adverse to commenting on tensions between China and its neighbors, noting only that China is a “rising power” in the region, as he emphasized the importance of cooperation.
Chinese Navy spokesman Liang Yang confirmed that a Chinese missile destroyer, missile frigate, supply ship, hospital ship, submarine rescue vessel and two helicopters would take part in RIMPAC 2016.
China will join 26 other nations in the world’s largest maritime exercise.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Defense Minister Gen Nakatani expressed serious concern over China’s activities in the East China Sea.
Speaking at the security summit in Singapore, Nakatani stressed as quoted by the Japanese Kyodo news agency, that he was “deeply concerned” over the construction of outposts used for military purposes in some of the disputed areas and emphasized that no country can be an “outsider” when it comes to regional stability.
Japan and China have rival claims to the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea.