Pentagon uninvites China from maritime military exercise

US Excludes China From Military Drill Over South China Sea Actions

China's Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi said the U.S. decision to exclude it from Rimpac was "very non-constructive".

The statement also did not mention China's use of a laser against USA pilots flying near Beijing's first overseas military base in the east African state of Djibouti. Wan Lin looks on in back.

Other than disinviting China from an upcoming Pacific naval exercise, there have been none.

And on Tuesday, he suggested that Chinese President Xi Jinping might have played a role in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's recent threats to withdraw from a planned summit with the US.

Despite President Donald Trump's attempt to build relations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, China and the USA have butted heads on a number of issues in recent weeks.

An invitation to the exercise, scheduled to start in June, carries political clout, and the disinvitation is likely to heighten U.S. The US Navy organizes a biennial exercise called "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC) in which personnel from more than two dozen countries train together and work on seamanship across the vast region. -China military ties, despite tensions over Beijing's construction of man-made islands in the South China Sea, some of which have been militarized.

U.S. network CNBC had reported that the Chinese military had installed anti-ship and air-to-air defences on the islands, citing sources close to United States intelligence.

Logan said that deployment "raised tensions" in the region.

He said China hopes the USA will change its "negative mindset".

Greg Poling, a South China Sea expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the images showed China had also deployed J-11 combat aircraft as part of its exercises.

While the Trump administration does not back any of the rival claims to the islands and smaller features, it has insisted on freedom of navigation and challenged Chinese assertions of sovereignty over virtually all the South China Sea, which USA allies in the region see as key to their economic interests and security.

Pentagon's decision was immediately hailed by many who have always been critical of China's inclusion in the RIMPAC.

Earlier this month China deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles on the disputed Spratly Islands off the Philippine coast, CNBC reported, citing sources close to USA intelligence.

Many Chinese fishing vessels accompanied by special forces were casting nets within Vietnamese waters, only 40 sea miles from Ly Son Island off Vietnam's south central coast, said Senior Lieutenant General Le Chiem, Deputy Minister of National Defense.

"We have seen these same reports and China's continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serves to raise tensions and destabilize the region", said Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman. Exercises are held every two years.

A Penatagon statement said it had "strong evidence" that China has deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missile systems and electronic jammers to the Spratly Island region of the South China Sea. "China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States", Adm. Philip Davidson, the new head of U.S. Pacific Command, said in April.

"The logic behind these military exchanges has weakened", Mastro said in an interview with the South China Morning Post.

The decision comes at a particularly sensitive moment in U.S.

Wang said the Chinese deployment was at a "much smaller scale than the US".



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