China joins Kakadu 2018 naval exercise in Australia

Australia’s largest multilateral naval exercise, Kakadu 2018, is underway, with China participating for the first time.

The RAN’s fleet commander, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, stressed the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation in his speech at the launch of the exercises.

Canberra’s decision to invite Beijing, despite its “aggressive” behaviour in the South China Sea, runs counter to the US decision to exclude China from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific exercise held in Hawaii in July.