News / Asia

US Defense Chief, in First, to Visit Chinese Aircraft Carrier

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel walks off an aircraft upon his arrival at Yokota Air Force Base in Fussa, Japan, April 5, 2014.U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel walks off an aircraft upon his arrival at Yokota Air Force Base in Fussa, Japan, April 5, 2014.
x
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel walks off an aircraft upon his arrival at Yokota Air Force Base in Fussa, Japan, April 5, 2014.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel walks off an aircraft upon his arrival at Yokota Air Force Base in Fussa, Japan, April 5, 2014.
Reuters
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expects to visit China's sole aircraft carrier when he arrives in the country on Monday, a U.S. official said, in an unprecedented opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military buildup.

The planned carrier visit, which will come at the start of Hagel's three-day trip to China, was quietly approved by Beijing at Washington's request and had not been previously announced, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Liaoning, a Soviet-era ship bought from Ukraine in 1998 and re-fitted in a Chinese shipyard, has been seen as a sign of Beijing's ambition for greater global influence and a reminder of its growing military might.

Hagel will fly to China's port city of Qingdao after a trip to Japan, and then head to a Chinese naval base. While there, he will visit the Liaoning, the official said.

Reporters traveling with Hagel were not expected to accompany him on the vessel.

A visit to China's aircraft carrier would not only be a first for a U.S. defense secretary.

The U.S. official believed Hagel would be the first official visitor from outside China to be allowed on board, although that could not be immediately confirmed.

The disclosure of the carrier visit came a day after Hagel said he would use his first trip to China as defense secretary to press Beijing to use its “great power” wisely and respect its neighbors, who have been put on edge by its increasingly muscular military.

”Coercion, intimidation is a very deadly thing that leads only to conflict,” he said at a news conference on Sunday at Japan's defense ministry. “All nations, all people deserve respect,” he added.

China is locked in bitter territorial disputes with some of its neighbors, especially Vietnam and the Philippines, over claims to parts of the potentially oil and gas-rich South China Sea. China has a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea over a group of uninhabited islets.

Hagel, in his talks in Japan over the weekend and last week at a gathering of Southeast Asian defense chiefs in Hawaii, has sought to reassure allies of the U.S. security commitment to the region and has promised frank discussions in China.

China, in turn, has repeatedly urged the United States not to take sides in any of these disputes, and has watched warily as Washington moves to strengthen its military alliances in the region, especially with Tokyo and Manila.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid