Chinas exclusion from  and Vietnams inclusion in this summers Rim of the Pacific naval exercise (Rimpac) is not just a diplomatic snub its the kind of slight that could have deep and dangerous geopolitical repercussions. The US-led Rimpac, which started in late June and lasts until early August, is a biennial military exercise often referred to as the worlds largest war game. This year, it brought together the navies of 26 nations for exercises spanning a huge swathe of ocean from the Hawaiian islands to southern California.

It offers a unique opportunity for militaries from Pacific Rim countries to train and work together to maintain peace and stability in the region. Also, the games are seen as a way of ensuring open access to important shipping lanes in the western Pacifics increasingly contested waters.

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