ASIA TIMES — Five Chinese warships, the PLAN’s delegation to RIMPAC 2016, rendezvoused with two USN destroyers, the USS Stockdale and USS Lawrence near the Daito Islands (just southeast of Okinawa), on June 18, 2016. The seven ship taskforce, with the USS Stockdale as flagship, will arrive at Hawaii for RIMPAC 2016 on June 29. Three other groups, one from Singapore, and the other two from San Diego, are also sailing to Hawaii (an amphibious component also takes place in Southern California).
Hosted biennially by the US, RIMPAC is the world’s largest regular multi-national exercise, incorporating dozens of countries each time (China’s first participation was in the previous RIMPAC, 2014). Running from June 30 to August 4, RIMPAC 2016 will involve twenty seven nations, fifty ships (including five submarines) over two hundred aircraft and 25,000 personnel. Noticeably, this is the first RIMPAC that will involve a submarine rescue exercise (of which China will play a key part in).
• FIRST PHOTO OF CHINA’S SECRETIVE NEW NUKE SUBMARINE — ASIA TIMES