first published on July 19, 2018 by Will
The Chinese military was uninvited from participating in RIMPAC this year, but that didn’t stop them from sending a spy vessel to observe the massive exercise.
The massive multinational maritime exercise is taking place just off the coasts of Hawaii and California, and so far the Chinese Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence spy vessel has been content to watch from just outside US territorial waters.
“We’ve taken all precautions necessary to protect our critical information. The ship’s presence has not affected the conduct of the exercise,” said US Pacific Fleet spokesman Captain Charlie Brown, referring to the likelihood of the spy ship attempting to compromise and intercept data and signal transmissions.
China was uninvited to RIMPAC because of their continued militarization of the disputed South China Sea. They have dredged several artificial islands on which they have built military bases and armed them with anti air and anti ship weapon systems.
The South China Sea is claimed by multiple nations to include Vietnam. Vietnam was invited, for the first time to RIMPAC this year, and is taking the place of China in the exercise.