China joins U.S.-led naval drills off coast of Hawaii for first timeUpdated: 2014-06-26 04:08:54 KST
The world's largest international maritime warfare exercise, dubbed RIMPAC begins on this Thursday off the coast of Hawaii and will last for five weeks.
This year, a Chinese warship will be joining the U.S.-led naval drills for the first time, a significant move by the two leading superpowers.
Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy has already sent its missile destroyer as well as three other naval ships to Hawaii to participate in the annual friendly multi-national exercises.
The exercises come amid tensions as Beijing asserts itself in its maritime disputes with neighboring countries while Washington looks to reinforce its influence in the Asian Pacific region.
First held in 1971, a total of 23 countries will be taking part in this year's drill.
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