Japan concerned about China's activities on East Sea

"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 Exercise", Logan said.

A Pentagon statement said the decision to disinvite the Chinese navy was "an initial response" to what it called China's militarization of the South China Sea.

The US has withdrawn an invitation to China to participate in the world's largest worldwide maritime warfare exercise, the Pentagon announced today, citing Beijing's "destabilising behaviour" in the strategically vital South China Sea, signalling fresh strain in bilateral ties. US officials say that China is developing a military capacity to threaten USA naval vessels that operate in the South China Sea and to choke off shipping through a vital waterway in the event of war.

"We find that a very unconstructive move", Wang Yi told reporters in Washington after meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Depriving China of its access to RIMPAC doesn't dangerously degrade U.S.

Fanell also warned USA naval leadership to remain on guard as it is highly likely that Beijing will dispatch another PLA Navy intelligence collection ship to the RIMPAC exercise area just as they did in 2012 and 2014.

"China's behavior is inconsistent with the principles and purposes of the RIMPAC exercise", he added.

The satellite images taken on Sunday by Imagesat International show two new launchers on the northern shore of the Island, next to a radar system, all covered by a camouflage net.

Chinese actions follow a Vietnamese decision to allow Russian oil firm Rosneft to begin drilling in waters claimed by China, according to Chinese analysts who spoke to the South China Morning Post.

The Trump administration has demonstrated a greater willingness to press China in the South China Sea, conducting half a dozen freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the past year and a half.

Large military transport aircraft have also been spotted on Subi and other Chinese islands in the contested sea in recent months.

Despite the ongoing tensions, Chinese vessels were invited to take part in the 2016 and 2014 RIMPAC drills.

In short, while Mr. Trump has been ineptly seeking an unfeasible reduction in the USA merchandise deficit with China, the regime has quietly stolen a march in another theater. "This move sends a strong signal (to Beijing) that its reckless behavior in the South China Sea carries with it real consequences".

Fanell is a long-time critic of unfettered military engagement with China and stated in a recent article that the initial invitation in June 2017 would "someday be remembered as the formal beginning of the end of US influence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region".

In recent months, China has deployed electronic warfare equipment and possibly surface-to-air missiles to the Spratly Islands, where it maintains seven artificial islands, and it has, for the first time, landed an H-6K strategic bomber on Woody Island in the Paracels.

Sources say such exchanges between Chinese and foreign militaries are far more frequent than is widely known.

The exclusion of the Chinese navy from the RIMPAC is expected to coerce China into reversing the militarization in these areas; thereby giving them a chance to not violate all the peace promises made by President Xi Jinping.

"China is only building civilian and some necessary defense facilities on our own islands".

Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei also have claims in the sea. China has generally participated.

China's maritime claims in the South China Sea, based on the "Nine-Dash Line" that was drawn to reflect China's interpretation of historical rights, have always been disputed by most of the neighboring countries in the region.