RIMPAC is the U.S. Navy’s Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii. And guess who is invited for the first time as a participant:
The Chinese Navy will participate in the U.S. Navy’s Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii next year, marking the first time that China will send ships and troops to the multinational war games.
San Diego’s Third Fleet runs the biennial event, and last year five San Diego warships attended.
China’s involvement is an about-face from the last round of RIMPAC, in 2012. Back then, China wasn’t invited and Chinese media outlets were cool to the naval exercises.
One piece in an English-language China newspaper at that time said, “The exercise is nothing but a big party held by the U.S., which is in a melancholy state of mind due to difficult realities.”