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.
William Ide
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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid