Pentagon uninvites China from major U.S. military exercise

May 23, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Wednesday uninvited China from a major U.S.-hosted naval drill in response to what it sees as Beijing’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea, a decision China called unconstructive.

“As an initial response to China’s continued militarization of the South China Sea we have disinvited the PLA Navy from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise,” said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman.

PLA is the English-language acronym of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army.

Logan did not specify what else the U.S. government might do to respond but stressed there was “strong evidence” that China had deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missile systems and electronic jammers to contested features in the Spratly Islands.