China will participate in next year's Pacific Rim naval exercises (RIMPAC). State news agency Xinhua reports that President Xi Jinping made the announcement on Saturday following his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg.
The 26 nations that participated in RIMPAC 2016 were invited to return for 2018, including China, despite on-going tensions in the South China Sea.
This will be the third time that China has participated in the exercises. Five PLA Navy ships participated in the 2016 exercises: a destroyer, a frigate, a submarine rescue ship, a supply ship and a hospital ship.
Russia has not been invited back since RIMPAC 2012, although an intelligence ship and a destroyer shadowed RIMPAC participants in 2014 and 2016.
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