Sen. John McCain has a good suggestion regarding Washington's response to Beijing's continued provocations, National Review's Patrick Brennan writes
The Arizona Republican, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, believes China should not be re-invited to participate in a major military exercise hosted at U.S. bases in Hawaii.
The Rim of the Pacific (known as RIMPAC), is the largest naval exercise in the world. The most recent version, which took place last year, included 25,000 troops, more than 200 aircraft, 47 surface ships, and six submarines, according to The Diplomat
When the Obama administration originally invited China to participate in the event back in 2012, Beijing's behavior was much less aggressive than it currently is.
China "hadn't declared control over a huge swath of airspace between the mainland and Japan, and they hadn't started building whole islands and military bases to advance their claims to ocean south of there, in the South China Sea," National Review observed.
Another hostile event occurred in December 2013, when a Chinese vessel harassed an American ship, the USS Cowpens, in the South China Sea.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel criticized the Chinese moves
as "unhelpful and irresponsible."
By the time of last year's exercise, China "was already behaving noticeably worse in the Pacific" and "even brought an uninvited spy ship to the event," the magazine added.
Given Beijing's increasing hostility, influential voices in Washington are challenging the communist regime's continued participation in RIMPAC.
"I would not have invited them this time because of their behavior," McCain said. "In the last number of years they had filled in 60 acres of land around these [disputed]islands; in the last year they have filled in 600 acres and they are putting in a runway. I don't think there is any doubt about their territorial ambitions."
McCain, The Diplomat reported, highlights Beijing's ongoing land reclamation activities on disputed features in the Spratly and Paracel islands as reason for added concern about its intentions.
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