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China Downplays Exclusion from US-Led Naval Exercises

China, though barred from the world’s largest multi-country naval exercises this year, will shrug off the slight because it has accumulated enough power in Asia’s disputed seas to cause it little concern about the U.S.-led maneuvers, experts believe.   The United States uninvited China from attending the Rim of the Pacific Exercise in view of Beijing’s naval expansion, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement June 2. The exercises better known as RIMPAC bring together 25 countries, 45 vessels and 25,000 people.   Beijing need not worry because it has already militarized its key islets in the South China Sea over the protests of Southeast Asian states and cultivated a blue-water navy that plies the open Pacific Ocean despite objections from Japan and Taiwan, analysts say.   “They’ll shrug it off,” said Jeffrey Kingston, author and history instructor at Temple University Japan. “I think they know there’s displeasure...

 

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