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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitcheni
X
September 22, 2014 11:42 AM
With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
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.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid