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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

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