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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid