Naval drill may calm choppy ties

Event highlights positive interaction between Beijing and Washington

Naval drill may calm choppy ties with the US

An invitation by the United States for China to take part in the world’s largest naval drill could mean smoother sailing for relations that have been through some choppy seas recently.

Just days ago, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel accused China of destabilizing regional waters, but the drill, to start later this month, may provide an opportunity for both countries to better utilize channels of communication, analysts said.

Four Chinese vessels, including one home-developed destroyer, will make their debut at the US-led Rim of the Pacific exercise.

The People’s Liberation Army navy will send destroyer Haikou, frigate Yueyang, supply shipQiandaohu and hospital ship Peace Ark to the drill, according to an announcement on the United States Pacific Fleet website.

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