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
By Melissa Hellmann
June 9, 2014

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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