The U.S. Department of Defense Wednesday rescinded China’s invitation to participate in an international maritime exercise due to its actions in the South China Sea.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan said the Defense Department has withdrawn its invitation to the Chinese military to participate in June’s Rim of the Pacific naval exercise alongside about two dozen other nations.
“China’s continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serve to raise tensions and destabilize the region,” Logan said.
China has been invited to the biannual military drill since 2014, and the statement said the decision to revoke China’s invitation was an initial response to Beijing’s South China Sea activities.
“We have strong evidence that China has deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, and electronic jammers to contested features in the Spratly Islands region of the South China Sea. China’s landing bomber aircraft at Woody Island has also raised tensions,” the Pentagon said.