BEIJING, May 24 (ChinaMil) -- No matter whether China is invited to participate in the RIMPAC-2018 exercise or not, it is impossible to shake China's determination to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesman for China's Ministry of National Defense, said on Thursday in a written statement responding to the US’ disinviting China from the Rim of the Pacific exercise.
Ren Guoqiang said that recently, the United States has hyped up the so-called "militarization" of the South China Sea by ignoring the facts, and used it as an excuse to cancel the invitation for China to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) - 2018 multinational naval exercise. The US’ decision is not constructive. Closing the door of communication at any time will not help enhance mutual trust and cooperation between the two militaries, Ren added.
China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands and their adjacent waters of the South China Sea. It is the natural right of China as a sovereign state to carry out construction activities and deploy necessary defense facilities on its own territory, which is also a necessary measure to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and security and maintain regional peace and stability. It has nothing to do with "militarization" and the US has no right to make irresponsible remarks on it, Ren stressed.
No matter whether China is invited to participate in the exercise or not, it is impossible to change China's will to play a role in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and it is unlikely to shake China's determination to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests, Ren said.
To develop a healthy and stable mil-to-mil relationship between China and the US serves the common interests of both sides and requires the joint efforts of both sides to maintain it, Ren said.
We hope that the US side can focus on the overall situation, abandon the zero-sum mentality, properly handle differences, and try to make the mil-to-mil relationship a stable factor for China-US relations, Ren concluded.