China will bring four ships to Hawaii this summer as its vessels participate in the world's largest naval exercises for the first time.
A U.S. Third Fleet spokeswoman said Tuesday China is expected to bring the Peace Ark, a navy hospital ship, as well as an oiler, a frigate and a destroyer.
Lt. Lenaya Rotklein says the exercises will begin on June 26 and last through Aug. 1. The U.S. hosts the Rim of the Pacific exercises, which are also known as RIMPAC. They began in 1971 and are now held every other year.
Twenty-three countries are expected to participate this year, including Canada, India, Japan and South Korea.
China sent military observers to watch the drills in 1998 but has never sent ships before.