News / Asia

Panetta: US Not Trying to Contain China

Panetta's China Visit Full of Challenges

x
Panetta's China Visit Full of Challengesi
|| 0:00:00
X
Luis Ramirez
September 19, 2012 9:02 PM
Defense Secretary is wrapping up his China visit, part of a U.S. bid to boost military ties and ease mutual suspicions.

Panetta's China Visit Full of Challenges

Luis Ramirez
— U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has told China the United States is not trying to contain it as Washington shifts forces to the Pacific. The U.S. official is wrapping up a visit aimed at easing suspicions on both sides.

It was a visit full of challenges for Panetta, who faced questions from the Chinese about U.S. intentions as it implements a new strategy that shifts much of its military focus to the Pacific.  

Panetta received hearty applause from cadets at a military academy in Beijing, where he sought to make clear what Washington's intentions are.

“Our rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region is not an attempt to contain China.  It is an attempt to engage China and expand its role in the Pacific.  It is about creating a new model in the relationship of two Pacific powers.  It is about renewing and revitalizing our role in a part of the world that is rapidly becoming more critical to our economic, diplomatic and security interests,” Panetta said.

A territorial dispute between China and Japan cast a shadow over his trip. The two countries claim a string of uninhabited but resource-rich islands in the East China Sea. They are known in Japan as the Senkaku and as Diaoyu to the Chinese.


  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, receives a plaque after he addresses cadets at the PLA Engineering Academy of Armored Forces in Beijing, China, September 19, 2012.
  • A cadet asks a question to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta during his visit to the Engineering Academy of PLA Armored Forces in Beijing, China, September 19, 2012.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta carries his lunch with cadets in the mess hall at the PLA Engineering Academy of Armored Forces in Beijing, China, September 19, 2012.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, shakes hands with China's Vice President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 19, 2012.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, walks with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie during a ceremony at the Bayi Building in Beijing, China, September 18, 2012.
  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, left, listens to a question from U.S. military personnel stationed at Yokota Air Base in Yokota, Japan, September 17, 2012.
  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, right, and Japan's Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto smile at the end of a joint news conference at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo, Japan, September 17, 2012.


The dispute has triggered massive anti-Japanese demonstrations across China and raised concerns about a conflict that could indirectly draw in the United States, which has security agreements with Japan.

Panetta urged restraint and dialogue. The United States is officially neutral in the dispute.

In his remarks Wednesday, the defense secretary sought to reassure China that Washington calls on both sides - not just China - to avoid provocations.

“I've made very clear to Japanese leaders that they have a responsibility to resolve these issues peacefully and that's our position,” Panetta said.

The defense secretary stayed in Beijing a day longer than planned to meet with China's presumed future leader, Vice President Xi Jinping. It was Xi's first public appearance in two weeks. His absence had fueled speculation about his condition and whereabouts.

Throughout his three-day visit in the Chinese capital, Panetta called for more transparency from Beijing as it modernizes its military.  Chinese officials appeared to take a first step by inviting Panetta to visit the Chinese navy's North Sea Command headquarters in the port city of Qingdao - the first such visit by a U.S. defense secretary.

China is the second stop on Panetta's weeklong visit to Asia, which began in Japan last Sunday.  His final stop is New Zealand.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid