DTN News - RIMPAC 2012: RIMPAC’s Impact On Military Ties, Biofuel
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 23, 2012: The largest-ever Rim of the Pacific exercise will conclude Aug. 7 after bringing together 21 countries, 25,000 troops, 40 ships, six submarines and 200 aircraft for a 42-day training evolution.
While a lot of publicity has surrounded the Navy’s “Great Green Fleet” of biofuel-filled ships, there are other reasons to keep close watch of what’s going on in the waters around Hawaii.
This year’s larger military turnout could be credited to China’s growing economic influence and expanding blue-water navy. China’s pushiness into regional issues is unsettling some governments.
“This leads to greater demand for U.S. involvement and leadership to offset possible Chinese domination,” said Denny Roy, senior fellow with the East-West Center in Honolulu. “Almost everyone in the region wants an insurance policy against the possibility of overbearing Chinese behavior.”
But China wasn’t invited. It cut military ties with the U.S. in 2010 because of America’s arms sales to Taiwan, and the relationship got even cooler because of China’s dealings with Iran. In the buildup to RIMPAC, China’s state-run media grumbled that India got invited and they didn’t.
Chinese and U.S. forces have plans to partner down the road, however. In late June, Adm. Samuel Locklear, head of U.S. Pacific Command, met his Chinese counterpart and addressed a top military academy in China with hopes of rebuilding military-to-military ties. China and the U.S. in May agreed to jointly perform humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and counterpiracy exercises, according to the Congressional Research Service.
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