A naval exercise under simulated conditions of war is being carried out in the Hawaiian waters of the Pacific Ocean. The multinational joint military exercise, named "RIMPAC 2008" (Rim of the Pacific), began on June 29 and will last for a month. It is assumed that China is the target of the large-scale exercise, Beijing-based International Herald Leader reported on June 30.
160 planes, 6 submarines and 19,000 naval troops from Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Peru, Chile, South Korea and Australia are included, while the USS Kitty Hawk, one of the US Navy's flagship aircraft carriers, is in charge of the operation.
Live ammunition maneuvers are the highlight of the exercise, in which Japanese and South Korean submarines simulate an attack on US aircraft carrier by forces from an East Asian country. Some experts suggest that the East Asian country referred to is China. The US Navy will test its capabilities in searching and attacking anti-submarines in the drill.
China and Russia excluded from some programs
The RIMPAC military exercise is held every two years. China and Russia have previously been invited as observers. But the purpose of RIMPAC has never been clear to Russia and China, and the two countries are excluded from some elements of the drill.
China was not invited to send observers to the exercise this year, which intensified speculation that China is the imaginary enemy of this drill. Russia also responded negatively to a US invitation.
Legacy of the Cold War
The exercise, which has been held since 1971, is a legacy of the Cold War, so it is hardly surprising that China and Russia are the simulated enemies.
America has yet to divest itself of its Cold War mentality after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. It still considers China as a potential threat to its global hegemony. The multinational marine military exercise is part of US efforts to contain China and to ensure the US's continuing dominance of the Asia-Pacific region.
(China.org.cn by Xiang Bin July 1, 2008)