- The Washington Times - Friday, June 27, 2014

China’s naval forces have hit the beaches of Hawaii for a joint military exercise with the United States and 22 other countries, a historical first for the communist nation.

Among China’s fleet at Pearl Harbor were two helicopters, a destroyer, a frigate, a supply ship and a hospital ship, all staffed by about 1,000 military members, United Press International reported. The Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise is a biennial international event and includes two weeks of fleet visits among participating nations.

The visits are also marked by basketball and football games, followed by three weeks of maritime drills, UPI reported.

Chinese craft will take part in weapons firing, disaster and anti-piracy training, and joint interceptions and landings, said the nation’s fleet drill instructor, Zhao Xiaogang, UPI reported.

The exercises, which started in 1971, are the largest multinational sea-based military training sessions in the world. China’s military chiefs have attended RIMPAC training in years past, but only on an observation basis.