June 9, 2014 2:29 pm JST

China to send 4 ships to U.S.-led naval exercise

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- China will send four ships to a U.S.-led naval exercise later this month off Hawaii, marking its first participation in such an international drill, its official military newspaper said Monday.

     The daily of the People's Liberation Army said a destroyer, an escort vessel, an oiler, a hospital ship and two helicopters will take part in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise, also known as RIMPAC.

     Together with 22 countries including Japan, South Korea and India, China will be part of the biennial exercise at a time of growing regional concerns over its maritime assertiveness.

     The U.S. Department of Defense invited China to RIMPAC as Washington is also trying to build mutual trust with the PLA and reduce the risk of regional confrontation.

     The naval exercise will run from June 26 to Aug. 1.