Back to Know Your World

The biennial RIMPAC — the Rim of the Pacific — event is the largest international maritime warfare exercise in the world. Despite its name, the event regularly involves naval powers from beyond the Pacific, including the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and recently France as well. Held in even-numbered years, the event is hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, with an expressed goal of improving regional naval coordination and cooperation. During the Cold War, the surface ships and submarines involved in the maneuvers sent a clear message to the Soviet Union, underscoring the capabilities of the U.S. Navy and its allies in the region.” In more recent years, the close coordination among U.S., Japanese and other Asian fleets was notable for the continued absence of China. The anti-China embargo at RIMPAC was broken in 2014, but the result was a far cry from improved relations. China views Washington’s regular exercises in the region, particularly among the United States, Japan and India, as a challenge to its maritime claims. With China’s littoral maritime environment ringed by U.S.-allied navies, Beijing is unlikely to ever feel anything other than threatened by the United States’ encouragement of the Asian naval power.

 

Purchase Book