“At the invitation of the U.S., China will attend the last meeting on the exercise plan in early April and communicate further with the U.S. about the drill,” Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said when asked if China will deploy more military might to exercises this year than in 2014.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying confirmed last week that military vessels will participate in the multinational drill, in response to U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s remarks that the U.S. is “reassessing” China’s participation.
“The United States has offered an official invitation to China to join the RIMPAC-2016 joint exercise, and China has confirmed it will send military ships to take part in the drill,” Hua said at a regular press briefing. She did not, however, say when the drill will take place.
The U.S.-led RIMPAC, starting in 1971, is the world’s largest multinational maritime military exercise, involving some 20 countries every two years. China participated for the first time in 2014 with four military ships and about 1,100 soldiers on board. Enditem