Beijing slams US for linking cancellation of naval drill to S. China Sea ‘militarization’

China on Thursday criticized the US for its decision not to invite it to a major US-hosted naval drill in response to what it sees as Beijing’s militarization of islands in the disputed South China Sea, Reuters reports. China has sovereign rights in the South China Sea and it is not realistic for the US to use this kind of action to try to coerce it, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang told reporters. Washington has revoked the Chinese Navy’s invitation to participate in the RIMPAC 2018 drills, over Beijing’s “militarization” of disputed islands in the South China Sea.