The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 30 June 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on June 30, 2014

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report



Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at or +1-202-745-4900.


Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) 2014

Source: Reuters/Hugh Gentry


This week’s snapshot focuses on RIMPAC 2014 – the Rim of the Pacific Exercise – the world’s largest international naval warfare exercise. It is a training opportunity that increases cooperation among participating countries. RIMPAC takes place every two years in Hawaii, and this year it goes on from 26JUN14 to 01AUG14. This year China joins the exercises for the first time since the exercises began back in 1971.


News Summary of events during the week of 23JUN-30JUN:

  • The exercises will involve 49 surface ships and six submarines participating from 23 countries. (WP)
  • On 26JUN14, Thailand is uninvited to the RIMPAC military exercises because of human rights abuses after last month’s military coup. (TIME Magazine)
  • On 26JUN14, the more than month-long naval maneuvers kicked off in Hawaii. (HuffPost)
  • On 26JUN14, China’s state news agency, Xinhua, published a favorable column on the exercises saying, “The scale and active involvement of the Chinese fleet indicate that military-to-military relations between China and the U.S. are building momentum since the summit attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama last summer.” (Xinhua)
  • On 29JUN14, Vice Admiral Kenneth E. Floyd, commander of the US Third Fleet visited the Chinese fleet. (Xinhua)



Sample of Twitter handles regarding RIMPAC 2014:

@BillGertz – Bill Gertz, Washington Times Columnist, author

@Quelquefois – Amy Chang, China Analyst, Kennedy School of Government

@SCheneyPeters – Scott Cheney-Peters, National Security Analyst, Center for International Maritime Security
@PacificForum – Pacific Forum, Center for Strategic and International Studies

@BowerCSIS – Ernie Bower, CSIS Chair for Southeast Asia Studies, Director of Pacific Partners Initiatives and CEO of BowerGroupAsia



Sample of Third Party Validators regarding RIMPAC 2014:


Austin Strange, Researcher, US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute

“RIMPAC and China’s participation … is unlikely to directly impact peace in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said. Asia-Pacific stability rests more on the ways in which states communicate and pursue their national interests vis-à-vis other states in the region.”

–       China looks to gain by joining big U.S.-led Pacific naval drills, Reuters, 27JUN14


Michael Wesley, Professor of National Security, Australian National University

“It’s important to include China in these sorts of coalition exercises in order to offset what is probably a growing belief in China that it is being encircled by tightening alliances and partnerships among its neighbors, and among its neighbors and the United States. I think there is a sense of strategic paranoia within Beijing, and I think that it’s also a reasonable leap of trust by the Chinese that they will take part in these US-led exercises that will be heavily participated in by US allies as well.”

–       RIMPAC 2014: China joins world’s biggest naval exercise in waters off Hawaii for first time, Australia Network News, 27JUN14


Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, The Cato Institute

“RIMPAC offers an opportunity to create some countervailing pressure in favor of a less threatening regional naval environment.  At the political level inviting Beijing to participate demonstrates respect for China’s increased military power and international role.   Doing so also counters the charge that Washington is seeking to isolate and contain the PRC.”

–       Military Cooperation with China: RIMPAC as  a Model for the Future, Cato at Liberty Blog, 27JUN14


Alexander Sullivan, Research Associate, Center for a New American Security

“The People’s Liberation Army Navy gets to both advertise some new capabilities and garner sorely needed experience in expeditionary operations and naval professionalism.”

–       RIMPAC 2014 and the Future of Sino-US Military-to-Military Relations, Huffington Post Blog, 23JUN14


Jia Qingguo, International Relations professor, Peking University

“The “mil-mil” relationship is the weakest link between the two countries and they often got suspended whenever something happened.The militaries need to talk to each other more often and at greater depth.”

–       At Navy Drills, US and China Try to Forge Relationship, AFP, 24JUN14



Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to RIMPAC 2014:


  1. Sea change


Media: Economist

Byline: N/A

Date: 28 June 2014


China has sent ships to Hawaii to take part in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military drills for the first time. RIMPAC, which began on June 26th, is the largest naval exercise in the world, with 25,000 personnel from 23 countries, including America, Australia, India, Indonesia and South Korea. The Chinese sent a destroyer, a frigate and a supply ship (pictured) along with a hospital ship and 1,100 men. America extended the invitation to participate before recent confrontations between China and its neighbors in the South and East China Seas. Though RIMPAC will not solve today’s tensions, it is part of an attempt to improve communication between regional armed forces. It also gives American officers a rare chance to have a peek at some Chinese kit.


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  1. Largest international maritime exercises begins in Hawaii


Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 26 June 2014


WASHINGTON, June 26 (Xinhua) — The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise consisting of 20 plus nations and hundreds of aircraft, ships and submarines begins on Thursday in and around the Hawaiian Islands, Pentagon said in a statement.


The exercise will provide a unique training opportunity for fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans, according to the statement.


Initiated by the U.S. Army, RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th such exercise since 1971 and for the first time will include Brunei and China.


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  1. BLOG: U.S. prepares for awkward military engagement with China in Hawaii


Media: Checkpoint (Washington Post)

Byline: Dan Lamothe

Date: 23 June 2014


The U.S. Navy has dispatched numerous ships to Hawaii as it prepares for Rim of the Pacific 2014, the world’s largest international maritime exercise. It will involve 49 surface ships and six submarines from 23 countries this year, but the inclusion of one — China — will get an inordinate amount of attention.


The People’s Liberation Army of China will participate in the exercise for the first time, sending ships that include the missile destroyer Haikou, the missile frigate Yueyang, the oiler Qiandaohu and the hospital ship Peace Ark. The Chinese were invited to join two years ago by Adm. Samuel Locklear, the chief of U.S. Pacific Command, and will do so now as Chinese President Xi Jinping pushes an overhaul and expansion of the Chinese military.
But the engagement, which starts June 26, comes at an awkward time following a series of controversial moves by China within the last year. That could complicate an already highly unusual level of engagement between China, the United States and U.S. allies at RIMPAC, even if senior military officials in China and the United States have had discussions for years.


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4.  At navy drills US and China try to forge relationship

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 23 June 2014

BEIJING, June 24, 2014 (AFP) – Chinese warships will join US-led naval drills off Hawaii for the first time this week, in a significant but mainly symbolic effort by the two powers’ fighting forces to make friends, not war.

Rising giant China and superpower the United States frequently find themselves at loggerheads as Beijing asserts itself in maritime disputes with neighbors and Washington seeks to shore up its influence in Asia.

Forging friendly ties — or at least an understanding — between the two heavyweights’ militaries is a key to preventing any unintended clashes from escalating, analysts say.

Yet “mil-to-mil” ties remain stunted by disputes and suspicions which have sharpened in recent years as each side accuses the other of inflaming tensions over contested islands in the East and South China Seas, aggressive cyber-spying and other issues.


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  1. US navy commander visits Chinese fleet participating in drill


Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 29 June 2014


HAWAII, the United States – A US navy commander on Saturday paid a visit to a Chinese fleet taking part in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational naval exercise, expressing the will of the United States to continue inviting the Chinese navy to participate in future drills.


Accompanied by Zhao Xiaogang, drill director of the Chinese fleet, Vice Admiral Kenneth E. Floyd, commander of the US Third Fleet, visited missile destroyer Haikou, missile frigate Yueyang, supply ship Qiandaohu and hospital ship Peace Ark.


The Chinese fleet has been well-prepared for this year’s drill and the Chinese navy is willing to continue to join RIMPAC exercises in the future, Zhao said.


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