Senate Armed Services Committee chair Senator John McCain and ranking member Senator Jack Reed write to US Defense Secretary Carter asking to revoke China’s invitation in the upcoming 2016 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercise in Hawaii. “Given the PRC’s provocative actions in the East and South China Seas, our government should be considering policy options that impose costs on China’s disruptive behavior, not reward it,” McCain and Reed said in the letter.
“Given China’s behavior in the past year alone, including its disregard for the interests of our allies, international law, and established norms, we do not believe Beijing should have been invited to this prestigious U.S.-led military exercise in 2016,” said in the letter.
They added that “some of the very countries that China continues to coerce with its growing power, including Japan and the Philippines, are regular participants at this exercise. For these reasons, we believe the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)’s invitation to attend RIMPAC 2016 should be revoked.”
The American senators added that China’s first participation in the said biggest joint naval drill last year “was accompanied by the deployment of a Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship to monitor the exercise.”
It can be remembered that China sent its Beijixing (851), a Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship designed for intelligence collection/missile range instrumentation equipped with High Tech Radio Signals Gather-and-Process.
“Now we learn they chose to disrespect the 20 other international participants by sailing an intelligence gathering ship directly into the middle of the exercise. It is clear China is not ready to be a responsible partner and that their first trip to RIMPAC should probably be their last,” House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces chair Representative Randy Forbes said commenting on China’s action last year.