WASHINGTON – The United States has released China from participation in a multinational naval exercise planned for this summer and further escalates tensions with Beijing, which ranged from trade across North Korea to the military.
The Pentagon led China's rapid military rearmament on disputed islands in the South China Sea for the withdrawal of Beijing's invitation to participate in the large-scale naval exercise Rim of the Pacific or RimPac. Defense Department officials said Wednesday that China's decision to deploy missile rocket missiles and other offensive weapons on the islands is spurring the movement.
The conflict over China's military construction on the disputed islands adds tensions between the two to another level of global economic power.
"We have strong evidence that China has used anti-ship missiles, ground-to-air missile systems and electronic jammers in contested areas in the Spratly Islands region of the South China Sea," Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Logan, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said in a statement.
He added that "China's landing of bombers on Woody Island has also increased tensions."
It's the first time China has been released from RimPac, Commander Logan said:
Beijing's militarization of the South China Sea islands, which has been claimed differently by China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, has been one for years Source of tension.
During his campaign, President Barack Obama labeled President Barack Obama is weak in the defense of international waters in the South China Sea, where Beijing has begun a sharp military buildup to reclaim land, install runways and transport equipment to reefs and shoals that claims it. Several of Mr. Trump's employees called for China's denial of access to the man-made islands.
During the first few months of the Trump administration, foreign affairs experts and Asian observers embarked on a return to routine naval patrols in China's self-proclaimed territorial waters, something Mr. Obama allowed sparingly.
But the freedom of navigating naval patrols by the United States to challenge the Chinese claims to the islands remained frugal. Pentagon supporters rejected three requests from the Navy to take over the freedom of shipping patrols in the first few months of Trump's presidency, before being resumed last year.
China has brought additional equipment to the disputed islands and the bomb-proof aircraft Hangars built there. His government says that such actions are not a militarization of the islands, which sees Beijing as a Chinese territory and therefore can not militarize the country it already owns.
The United States and other countries disagree
"China's continued militarization of controversial features in the South China Sea only serves to increase tensions and destabilize the region," Commander Logan said in the Pentagon Declaration. He described China's behavior as "incompatible with the principles and purposes" of the exercise.