For the first time ever Chinese warships are taking part in the world’s largest naval drills: the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), biannual US-led training of Asia-Pacific regional navies traditionally conducted off the Hawaiian Islands since 1971.
RIMPAC will last for over a month, from June 26 to August 1.
The ongoing drill involves 47 surface ships, six submarines, over 200 aircraft, and 25,000 troops from 22 countries.
Originally, the invitation to take part in RIMPAC was sent by then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in 2012. China accepted the invitation in 2013, but due to legal restrictions the Chinese role in the drills is limited to relief operation training.