TIME China

China to Attend U.S.-Hosted Naval Drill for First Time

A Chinese navy vessel fires its cannon during the Joint Sea-2014 naval drill outside Shanghai on the East China Sea
A Chinese navy vessel fires its cannon during a naval drill outside Shanghai in the East China Sea on May 24, 2014 China Daily Infor—REUTERS

The move comes after the Pentagon released a controversial report detailing rocketing military spending by Beijing

China confirmed on Monday its attendance at the U.S.-hosted Rim of the Pacific international naval exercises (RIMPAC) for the first time.

Beijing will send two warships, a supply ship, a hospital ship and two helicopters to the world’s largest maritime drill held in waters near the U.S. island of Guam later this month, reports Reuters.

According to China’s official armed-forces newspaper, the People’s Liberation Army Daily, its navy will participate in exercises including diving drills, cannon firing and naval-security practices.

Beijing’s decision to join RIMPAC comes amid rising tensions between the two superpowers, triggered by territorial disputes with regional U.S. allies, cyber-espionage allegations and a Pentagon report that estimated China’s military spending at nearly $150 billion last year. China’s Defense Ministry lambasted the Pentagon last week for warning that Beijing is boosting its military agenda.

[Reuters]

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