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US applauds China over joint naval drills

BEIJING: The United States welcomes China’s participation in US-led joint naval exercises next year, navy secretary Ray Mabus said yesterday during an official visit to the country. “We welcome China’s participation in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise in 2014,” Mabus said in a statement distributed by the US embassy in Beijing.
The embassy could not confirm if China had formally accepted the invitation to participate, made by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta when he visited China in September.
Some 22 nations and more than 40 vessels took part in the latest round of the international maritime exercises.