20 June 2014

Chinese Navy’s First Participation in RIMPAC Exercise Draws International Attention

Yao Jianing, ed., Chinese Navy’s First Participation in RIMPAC Exercise Draws International Attention,” China Military Online, 19 June 2014.

BEIJING, June 19 (ChinaMil) — The vessels of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy  to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014 multinational military exercise joined the U.S. and Singaporean naval vessels in the northern waters of Guam at noon on June 14, 2014, local time.

This is the first time that China participated in the world’s largest-scale multi-national naval exercise. The international community has paid close attention to this move and commented positively on it, believing it displays Chinese military’s confidence and openness, delivers the wish to strengthen mutual trust, and will play a positive role in multilateral relations and regional security cooperation.

Media praised that the Chinese navy’s participation in the RIMPAC exercise is an evidence of confidence and openness. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and other media covered in the first time that the PLAN assigned four naval vessels to participate in the RIMPA exercise.

Lianhe Zaobao of Singapore said that the fact that the PLAN assigned advanced battleships to the “tiger’s den” indicates its confidence.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) noted that even though China and the U.S. have had constant disagreements on international issues, China still accepted the other side’s invitation to participate in this naval exercise, which fully demonstrates Chinese military’s calmness and openness.

Both the ВЗГЛЯД.РУ of Russia and Taiwan’s United Daily News commented that this shows China’s wish to participate in more international activities and to create its image as a responsible large power through the naval exercise.

Media commented on the participation in the RIMPAC exercise by the PLA as a signal of strengthening mutual trust.

International Business Times of the U.S. said that China’s decision to participate in the RIMPAC exercise despite the constant disputes between the two militaries lately will be a surprise to the international community.

According to an article published by Lianhe Zaobao, participating in the joint naval exercise not only provides a rare opportunity for the PLAN to observe, learn and exercise, but also helps the two militaries show their transparency and good will to each other, and strengthen military mutual trust between the two countries. 

BBC quoted an expert as saying that China’s participation is aimed at higher-level China-U.S. military cooperation, with the main purpose of establishing bilateral military mutual trust, avoiding misjudgment and controlling crisis.

Media held that Chinese navy’s participation in the RIMPAC exercise will exert a positive influence on regional situation. Associated Press (AP) of the U.S. quoted Rory Medcalf, a researcher with Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy, as saying that China’s participation in the RIMPAC exercise can urge all parties to coordinate on security issues of common concern such as disaster relief and crackdown on piracy and reduce the friction between the PLAN and other countries’ navies.

Reuters commented that as the naval exercise is carried out amid the escalating situation in the East China Sea and the South China Sea and the mounting dispute over cyber security between China and the U.S., it offers a rare communication opportunity to help relieve the regional tension.

Lianhe Zaobao quoted Xu Hongmeng, deputy commander of the PLAN, as saying that participating in the RIMPAC exercise is an important attempt to forge the new-type big power relations and military relations between China and the U.S., which will play a positive role in the friendly cooperation between China and the U.S. as well as countries in the South Pacific region.