The United States has disinvited China from a US-hosted naval drill over alleged militarization of the South China Sea.
The Pentagon said Wednesday that it had made the decision in the wake of “strong evidence” that Beijing had deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missile systems and electronic jammers to the Spratly Islands, claimed by several nations.
“As an initial response to China’s continued militarization of the South China Sea we have disinvited the PLA Navy from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise,” said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman.
China’s air force bombers landed on the disputed islands as part of the country’s war games in the region over the weekend.
The disinvitation irked China, which argued that landing the bombers is merely defensive and in “much smaller scale” than what the United States had done in Hawaii and Guam.
“We find that a very unconstructive…