News / Asia

    As US, China Seek Closer Military Ties, Differences Loom Large

    As US China Seek Closer Military Ties, Differences Loom Largei
    X
    William Ide
    April 10, 2014 9:06 PM
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's visit to China this week highlighted a rapidly expanding effort between the two nations' militaries to boost ties, despite growing regional disputes. The trip also laid bare some of their sharp differences. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's visit to China this week highlighted a rapidly expanding effort between the two nations' militaries to boost ties, despite growing regional disputes. The trip also laid bare some of their sharp differences.
     
    Hagel's first visit to China was not short on friendly exchanges, including a visit to the country's only aircraft carrier and talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. But, although the two sides talked cooperation, they also openly disagreed over territorial disputes in the region.
     
    The Pentagon chief bluntly challenged Beijing's decision late last year to declare an air defense zone over disputed islands in the East China Sea also claimed by Japan.
     
    "Every nation has a right to establish an air defense zone, but not a right to do it unilaterally with no collaboration, no consultation. That adds to tensions, misunderstandings, and could eventually add to, and eventually get to dangerous conflict," said Hagel.
     
    Chinese defense minister, General Chang Wanquan, responded in kind, noting territorial issues are a core interest for China.
     
    "On this issue we will make no compromise, no concession, no trading, not even a tiny bit of violation is allowed," said Chang.
     
    • U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing, China, April 9, 2014. (Department of Defense)
       
    • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is given a tour by a Chinese military officer at the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in Beijing, China April 9, 2014. (Department of Defense)
    • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is given a tour by a Chinese military officer at the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in Beijing, China, April 9, 2014. (Department of Defense)
    • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel eats lunch with two non-commissioned officers and several Chinese military commissioned officers at the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in Beijing, China, April 9, 2014. (Department of Defense)
    • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel greets Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at Zhongnanhai in Beijing, China, April 9, 2014. (Department of Defense)
    • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stands with Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan at an honors ceremony in Beijing, China April 8, 2014. (Department of Defense)
    • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel holds a joint press conference with Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan in Beijing, China, April 8, 2014. (Department of Defense)
    • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel shakes hands with a traditional Chinese dancer after an official dinner in Beijing, China, April 8, 2014. (Department of Defense)
    • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meets with Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan in Beijing, China, April 8, 2014. (Department of Defense)

    At China’s National Defense University, Hagel spoke with officers about the need for transparency as a way to avoid misunderstandings.
     
    Taking questions later, one officer voiced concerns that Washington is taking sides in the region to stir up tensions and block Beijing's military rise.

    Washington denies it is trying to contain China. But the Brookings Institution's Jonathan Pollack says the United States has adopted a somewhat harder line in how it addresses these issues in the region.
     
    "You're getting a consistent message from [U.S. officials], on the one hand, an effort to try to define, improve prospects for a meaningful relationship between the armed forces of the two countries’ expanding cooperation in particular areas, but at the same time reinforcing areas where the Chinese say they will not budge, and we reiterate our existing commitments," Pollack said.
     
    Analysts say relations have made significant strides over the past year or so. This is the third time that Hagel and his Chinese counterpart have met since they both took office. The two militaries have held several joint exercises since last year.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.