Washington: United States has cancelled the invitation given to China to participate in the large-scale war exercises known as the ‘Rim of the Pacific’ (RIMPAC). US Defence Secretary, James Mattis announced this decision accusing China of not having the militarisation of the ‘South China Sea’ ceased yet. Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, currently on a visit to the United States, has pointed out to the US that this decision will not be in interest of the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The United States had organised this grand war exercise in the Pacific Ocean from 27th June to 2nd August. This included 46 warships, more than 200 fighter jets and 26,000 naval personnel. 26 countries, including the United States will be participating in these exercises and the United States had invited China to participate in the exercises. But in a shocking move, the United States has now revoked its invitation to China. The reason given by the United States for this action was that China has still not ceased the militarization of the South China Sea.
A few days ago, the Chinese bombers had landed on Paracel islands in the South China Sea region. The US defence headquarters, Pentagon has said that they have concrete evidence that China has deployed its anti-ship missiles, ground-to-air missiles and electronic jammers on the Spratly Islands. Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan has warned that there will be instability in the region if the militarisation of this region continues in this manner. Therefore, the United States has taken a stern action of withdrawing the invitation given to China for participation in the RIMPAC exercises, in protest of the Chinese actions. Former Pentagon official, Abraham Denmark has expressed confidence that this action will deliver the appropriate message to China.
The decision was taken by US Defence Secretary, James Mattis. It has been clarified that prior to this decision, Mattis had had a discussion with the White House. Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi is on a United States visit. He had discussions with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and the echoes of the decision were heard in the joint press conference addressed by the two leaders. The Chinese Foreign Minister claimed that the decision to revoke the invitation given to China for the war exercises was unfortunate. Wang Yi expressed regret that the decision will not be beneficial to the bilateral relations between the two countries. The Chinese Foreign Minister said that he hoped that the United States will change its position and withdraw this decision.
Meanwhile, the United States is keeping a close eye on the Chinese activities in the Pacific Ocean region and has consistently been warning China that it will retaliate against these inciting actions. Till date, China has only intensified its movements ignoring the United States’ warnings. But the United States seems to have rendered a severe blow to China by revoking the invitation for RIMPAC at the right time. This decision taken during the Chinese Foreign Minister’s visit to the United States proves to be very relevant.