Even with mounting strain building between the two countries, their navies worked together during the run-up to the gigantic RIMPAC exercises.
A Chinese naval task force has linked up with a U.S. aircraft carrier and her battle group in the central Pacific Ocean. The two navies will practice training and then head to Hawaii for monthlong multinational exercises.
According to USNI News, this week a five ship flotilla from China's People's Liberation Army Navy linked up with the USS John C. Stennis carrier battle group. The linkup was performed off the coast of Guam by two of the carrier's escorts, the guided missile destroyers USS Stockdale and USS Lawrence.
Chinese submarine logistics vessel Changxingdao.
The American fleet consists of the carrier Stennis and her escorts, the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay and destroyers Chung-Hoon, Stockdale, and Lawrence. The Chinese fleet includes the Type 052C guided missile destroyer Xi'an, a ship similar in purpose to the American Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Also included is the Type 054A guided missile frigates Hengshui, fleet replenishment ship Gaoyouhu,submarine support ship Changxingdao, and hospital ship Peace Ark.
The two navies will together sail to the Hawaiian Islands to participate in the multinational RIMPAC 2016 exercises. This is the second RIMPAC China has participated in, despite calls to disinvite the country over its actions in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Earlier this year USS Stennis was denied a port visit to the Chinese-controlled city of Hong Kong.
Chinese supply vessel Gaoyouhu.
This year's RIMPAC exercises include forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People's Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.
According to USNI News, the American and Chinese ships practiced ship maneuvering in large formations. The two navies are also expected to practice search and rescue operations.
Via USNI News