News / Asia

    US, China Exchange Tough Words on Regional Policies

    FILE - US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan (R) listen to the Chinese national anthem during a welcoming ceremony at the Chinese Defense Ministry headquarters, prior to their meeting in Beijing, April 8, 2014.
    FILE - US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) and his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan (R) listen to the Chinese national anthem during a welcoming ceremony at the Chinese Defense Ministry headquarters, prior to their meeting in Beijing, April 8, 2014.
    Shannon Van Sant
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Chinese counterpart challenged each other over China's policy goals in the region during a meeting in Beijing Tuesday. Hagel is on a three day trip to China aimed at improving military ties between the two countries.

    Hagel criticized China’s decision in November to create an air defense identification zone over contested territory with Japan in the East China Sea.
     
    "The United States has been very clear on this issue. And that is that, first, every nation has a right to establish air defense zones, but not a right to do it unilaterally, with no collaboration, no consultation," he said. "That adds to tensions, misunderstandings, and could eventually add to, and eventually get to, dangerous conflict."
     
    The defense secretary arrived in Beijing after a stop in Japan, where he told reporters that China must be more open about its military build-up and better respect its neighbors.

    Responding to Hagel's criticism, Chang said China would never unnecessarily provoke Japan but would remain prepared to safeguard its territory.
     
    Regarding territorial disputes over islands and reefs and maritime borders, Chang said China "stands ready to resolve the issues through negotiations with the countries directly involved."
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    China and Japan are embroiled in a territorial dispute over a contested chain of islands in the East China Sea, called the Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.  The islands are in waters potentially rich in natural resources and provide valuable grounds for fishermen.

    Last fall China established an air defense identification zone over the islands, where it claimed the right to take retaliatory action against any aircraft that had not sought prior approval to fly through the zone.
     
    Washington and Beijing have also been at odds over cyberattacks. The United States has accused China of carrying out persistent online attacks against U.S. government agencies and private American companies. Hagel is expected to press the Chinese for greater transparency in their cyberattacks policy, with pledges that the United States will reciprocate.
     
    Xiaohe Cheng, a professor of International Relations at Renmin University, said the military culture of both Secretary Hagel and Minister Chang could help improve communication on delicate issues.
     
    "Hagel is not a diplomat.  He is a military guy, and he is supposed to speak with his Chinese counterparts in a frank way, and I think his Chinese counterparts will also behave in similar ways," Xiaohe said.
     
    On Monday, Hagel became the first foreign official to tour China’s only aircraft carrier, called the Liaoning.  He toured the flight deck, living quarters, medical facilities and flight control station.  The Liaoning is not fully operational but does have the ability to launch fighter planes.  The ship serves as a powerful example of China’s rapidly growing military might.

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    Comments
         
    by: Shintaro Sakamoto from: Japan
    April 08, 2014 7:02 PM
    Japan-U.S. alliance has remained strong for nearly seventy years because of a shared national interest in a peaceful, prosperous Asia and the tremendous ties forged between the two nations since 1945. The challenge of a rising, assertive Beijing should serve as a catalyst for both nations to reinvigorate their alliance.
    As the Senkakus are under Japan’s administrative control, unilateral attempts to change the status quo fall under the terms of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty. What is at stake are not maritime rights or airspace, but a set of rules-based principles that the United States has fostered and sustained in Asia since the Second World War.
    Before that, Beijing should remember the existence of Cairo Secret Talk conducted between the two of Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek(蔣介石) prior to the Cairo Declaration on December 1, 1943, where Chiang Kai-shek refused its territorial right of Ryukyus including Senkakus. This secret talks was based upon the Cairo Declaration. Under the Chinese policy of “One China”, Beijing has taken over this historical fact.

    by: china guy from: beijing
    April 08, 2014 1:03 PM
    us has set up many defense identyfication zone s unilaterally. why do they ask the other country not do so? weird.
    In Response

    by: Wangchuk from: NY
    April 14, 2014 10:33 AM
    Thank you for your comment, comrade, but can you cite specific examples of your claim?

    by: meanbill from: USA
    April 08, 2014 10:24 AM
    TRUTHFULLY .. The US didn't consult with any nation about their right to form the very first Air Identification Defense Zone, but now they try to impress the news media, and the American people, making useless threats against China, that militarily mean nothing.... (Well if nobody didn't know then, that China created an Air Identification Zone, they know now, don't they?) --- It's a moot point now, but it's good for US saber rattling? --- China has told the whole world loud and clear, "that they had suffered over 100 years of humiliation from the US, European countries, Japan, and Russia, (with their Unequal Treaties forced on them), and now, China will never ever give up one inch of the Motherland again." --- "HELLO" is anybody listening? --- (NOT ONE INCH).... REALLY
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    April 14, 2014 11:48 AM
    Every Chinese leader has said it repeatedly "they will never give up one inch of the Motherland again" -- wherever that inch of the Motherland is. --- I didn't say it, they did.. (LOOK it up?)
    In Response

    by: Wangchuk from: NY
    April 14, 2014 10:35 AM
    Can you cite a specific example of your claim? As far as giving up an inch of your Motherland, the real question is what is part of the Motherland? There is no evidence that the entire seas around China are sovereign territory of China exclusively. There is nothing in int'l law that supports China's claims here. Besides China's borders, like most nations, have never been stable throughout history so the only thing we can say for sure is that borders change.

    by: Candice from: usa
    April 08, 2014 10:08 AM
    the advent of Obama on a platform and hope of racial harmony has become a deadly trauma to the world - and to US at home...

    After betraying so many of our allies - including our most intimate Israel - the US foreign and domestic policy has become a mockery... Japan derides our "assurances" - Russia is contemptuous of Obama; The Philippines are looking for alternatives to our empty pronouncements... China is warning US... Islamic depravity is on the rise... the Iranians are nuking up... the Saudis are whimpering... and here at home - "yes we can..." sounds like a pathetic cry
    what have we done to ourselves..!?!?
    In Response

    by: SEATO
    April 08, 2014 3:18 PM
    America needs action men like George Bush senior and junior who would give a good beatings to all those trouble-makers across the world. Obama is an orator,not a fighter.That's why Russia,China,North Korea and Iran,all take the piss.Wait until Jeb Bush gets into the White House.He is going to put everything right ! It might be too late then...
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    April 08, 2014 12:47 PM
    Since Obama became President, the whole world seems to be erupting in chaos and violence, and Obama hasn't a clue on what's going on, or what the hell to do about it.. (Did someone say he's clueless, but, he draws red lines and circles really good, in his coloring books?)

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