News analysis

US snub to China could be start of wider pushback

War game exclusion may be only first move: Analysts

Disinviting China from the long list of countries in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) multilateral maritime war exercise this year may be the beginning of a broader push to impose costs on China for its increasing militarisation of islands in the disputed South China Sea, analysts say.

So far the United States' tactical reaction to China's militarisation in the waterway has mainly been the stepping up of Freedom of Navigation Operations (Fonops) in which US warships sail through the waters to assert right of passage.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2018, with the headline 'US snub to China could be start of wider pushback'. Print Edition | Subscribe