Ex-admiral backs China for drill

Updated: 2016-04-20 11:31

By Dong Leshuo and Hua Shengdun in Washington(China Daily USA)

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A retired US Navy admiral who also had commanded the US Pacific Command believes China's participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) is a positive development.

"I think we should do all that we can to keep the PLA engaged in the international military forums," Samuel Locklear III said of the world's largest international maritime warfare exercise, which is led by the US.

Locklear gave the keynote speech at the release of the report, US-China Relations in Strategic Domains, by the National Bureau of Asian Research, in Washington on Tuesday.

"The RIMPAC exercise should continue to serve as a platform for Chinese participation," it said in one chapter co-authored by Christopher Yung, Donald Bren Chair of Non-Western Strategic Thought at the Marine Corps University, and Wang Dong, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Strategic Studies at Peking University.

In 2014, the US invited China to participate in RIMPAC for the first time, which Locklear called "a very big success".

Ex-admiral backs China for drill

"There was this fear that somehow the Chinese would learn some secrets, or there would be espionage, all these things that proved unfounded," Locklear said.

"It allowed all of us to see Chinese forces in action. It allowed the Chinese to see how the rest of the world can cooperate."

China has confirmed it accepted a US invitation for RIMPAC 2016 and will send ships to take part in the drill, according to Hua Chunying, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in response to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter's remarks that the US is "reassessing" China's participation.

"The military relationship between China and the US has found a resilience and maturity that had not been there before," said Major General Yao Yunzhu, a senior researcher at the People's Liberation Army's Academy of Military Science.

Last December, the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Escort Task Group 152 visited Hawaii, which has "helped further strengthen the exchange and cooperation between the Chinese and US navies", said Wang Jianxu, commander of the Chinese fleet.

Zhu Yinghuang, former editor-in-chief of China Daily, said the current international system and governance needs to improve, especially in the case of representation of emerging countries.

"As the two largest economies in the world, China and the US have special responsibilities for safeguarding the current international norms," said Zhu.

Allan Fong in Washington contributed to this story.


(China Daily USA 04/20/2016 page1)