China has released a video in response to not being invited to the 2018 Rim of the Pacific Exercise, or RIMPAC, which is an annual U.S.-led Pacific joint military exercise.
— Task & Purpose (@TaskandPurpose) June 27, 2018
The purpose of RIMPAC is to promote peace and to ease international tensions, but China’s recent behavior has disappointed many of the countries who participate in the exercise.
Participants such as the U.S., Japan and Vietnam are frustrated with Beijing’s determination to militarize the disputed South China Sea. The People’s Republic has had a rocky relationship with RIMPAC and last participated in 2016.
China expressed its disapproval with not being invited to RIMPAC by creating a video showing off its naval capabilities.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy used their aircraft carrier Liaoning in most scenes of the video, and featured many of their naval air and sea power troops.
Chinese J-15B “Flying Shark” multi-role fighters were featured taking off from the deck of the aircraft carrier in the video.
The video was filmed during a naval exercise near Hainan Island in the South China Sea.
Beijing has been focusing on growing its naval fleet to emerge as a global power.
PLAN’s Liaoning is currently its only active aircraft carrier, but there are additional carriers coming soon.
China’s second aircraft carrier, which is currently unnamed, is now going through sea trials and a third carrier is under construction.
The U.S. Navy currently has 19 aircraft carriers, which trumps the size of China’s fleet.
In late March, the Liaoning was sailed by a strike group through the Taiwan Strait to assert aggression toward the self-governed island of Taiwan. The Republic of China Air Force and Navy sent jets and ships to monitor the Chinese aircraft carrier.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it clear that he wants to eventually “reclaim” Taiwan. Analysts believe that taking control of the South China Sea is the first step toward taking control of the island.
Despite Xi’s threats, Taiwan is supported by the United States, and the two nations recently reached a deal that involves the sale of $1.42 billion worth of weapons. The deal, which angered China, will allow Taiwan to enhance its defense systems.
Some experts believe that a potential invasion of Taiwan by China won’t be happening any time soon.
“China does not have the capability to do it in the next five years. If they did, an invasion could lose them most of their frontline, advanced equipment and troops in the process,” said Steve Tsang, political scientist and director of the SOAS University of London’s China Institute.