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US did not invite ROC military to join Pacific Rim exercises: MND

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday said the nation's armed forces were not invited to join the United States-led Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) that is to be held later this month.

“The R.O.C. was not invited to join the 2014 RIMPAC,” military spokesman Luo Shao-ho (羅紹和) told local media yesterday when asked to comment on a local media report that said an unofficial website containing information about RIMPAC listed Taiwan as an observer to the drill.

The website, http://www.potiori.com/RIMPAC.html, put the Republic of China among the five observers of this year's joint maritime exercise to be held from June 26 to August 1, the Chinese-language United Evening News said.

Asked to comment, Luo yesterday said that Washington did not invite Taipei to join the drill. The information posted on the website is false, he noted.

But he stressed that the MND is looking forward to having the opportunity to conduct military exchanges with other Taiwan-friendly nations, including the U.S., in the future.

Taiwan wishes to participate international events to elevate the nation's international position, he added.

According to information posted on the official U.S. Navy website, RIMPAC, hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet every two years in and around the Hawaiian Islands, is a multinational maritime exercise.

This year's RIMPAC, the 24th in a series that began in 1971, is scheduled from June 26 to August 1, with an opening reception scheduled for June 26 and a closing reception on August 1.

Twenty-three nations, 49 surface ships, 6 submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate.

The 23 participating countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the 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.

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