This spring, China’s navy accepted the Pentagon’s invitation to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific ”” RIMPAC ”” naval exercise to be held off Hawaii. This will be the first time China takes part in the biennial event.
Our allies should signal their intent to withdraw from the exercise if China participates. Failing that, the invitation should be withdrawn. RIMPAC is for allies and friends, not nations planning to eventually wage war on the United States. Russia sent ships in 2012, but while its senior officers may occasionally utter unfriendly words, they are not actively planning to fight the United States. Analyst Robert Sutter was surely correct when he wrote in 2005 that “China is the only large power in the world preparing to shoot Americans.”
That assessment, unfortunately, remains true today.