RIMPAC international maritime wartime exercise to begin

The Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, is scheduled to begin today in

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Photo: Reuters

The Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, is scheduled to begin today in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Led by the US Navy, the biennial exercise brings together naval forces primarily from the Pacific Rim to promote regional maritime stability and cooperation. Due to COVID-19, more than half of the participating countries from the last RIMPAC in 2018 will not attend this year’s exercise.

RIMPAC 2020 will be attended by the navies of critical US allies, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Due to the rather limited range of exercises, participation will likely be viewed as a symbolic affirmation of military cooperation with the US given the rise of Sino-American tensions, which likely played a significant role in Washington’s insistence that RIMPAC 2020 take place. Immediately following exercises in the South China Sea, this year’s exercise sends a clear message to China that bilateral support between the US and regional partners such as Japan—which is expected to experience a spike in maritime tensions with Beijing—remains unweathered.

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