• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:01pm

US defence chief Chuck Hagel calls on China to respect its neighbours amid tensions with Japan

US defence chief tells Beijing on eve of visit that 'great powers have great responsibilities' as he announces deployment of warships to Japan

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 3:53am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 10:40am

US defence chief Chuck Hagel called on China to use its "great power" responsibly on the eve of his arrival in Beijing today.

He said he would urge China to respect neighbours who are growing increasingly anxious over its stance on territorial disputes.

Hagel also announced in Tokyo yesterday that two US Navy destroyers equipped with missile defence systems would be deployed to Japan by 2017 amid increasing tensions with North Korea.

It will take the number of US warships in Japan to seven.

Watch: US to send two more anti-missile ships to Japan: Hagel

"Great powers have great responsibilities and China is a great power," he said after a meeting with Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera.

Hagel, making his first trip to China in his current role, said he wanted to talk to Beijing about its use of military power and to encourage transparency.

There is mounting concern in Tokyo over China's military build-up and its increasingly assertive posture in the territorial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands - called the Senkakus by Japan - in the East China Sea.

"I will be talking with the Chinese about their respect for their neighbours. Coercion and intimidation are very deadly things that lead only to conflict," he said.

He pointed to Russia's annexation of Crimea as the kind of action that will not be tolerated - a parallel that Japan has drawn previously over China's territorial challenges.

Hagel said: "You cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and the sovereignty of nations by force, collusion or intimidation, whether it's in small islands in the Pacific or in large nations in Europe."

He said he looked forward to having an honest, straightforward dialogue with the leaders in Beijing to talk about ways the two nations and their militaries can work better together.

Jia Qingguo, a professor of international relations at Peking University, said Hagel's remarks about China avoiding use of coercion and intimidation in territorial disputes was in line with the US stance that disputes should be resolved peacefully. "It may be simply that he thinks that, compared with a year or two ago, the heat of the disputes has given out a little, so a bit more policy transparency is needed," he said.

But Jia said Hagel was wrong to draw parallels between the Russian action in Crimea and the dispute over the Diaoyus.

"The US is quite reasonably concerned about countries forcibly seizing other countries' land after Russia took control of Crimea, but it shouldn't apply to the issues surrounding the Diaoyu Islands," he said.

Shi Yongming, a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said Hagel's drawing of a parallel between the Crimea annexation and the Diaoyus dispute showed the US stance towards the issue was hardening.

"Many American scholars have taken to drawing parallels between the two issues after what happened with Crimea, trying to show China in a bad light. That's a dangerous sign," he said.

"It's an unreasonable comparison. Crimea was a much divided region even before Russia tried to seize it. You cannot compare the two."

He added that the US was probably trying to use the territorial dispute as a tool to limit China's influence in the region, while maintaining its own influence.

Reuters, Associated Press


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respecting thy neighbors? like USA?
like US thru' CIA's covert activities "respecting" her neighbors like Cuba, Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Costa Rica...........
China: "US should use its great power responsibility not to provoke China through its minons - Japan and the 'Pines..., oh wait, that can't happen, warmongering is written in the DNA of the United States of America. Thank God we have nukes, a sizable military and chunk loads of T-bonds otherwise we would gone the way of Iraq, Libya, Ukraine etc. (too many to list...)......"
Why is it always one-way - other countries have to respect the US (& its allies), but not the US (& its allies) respecting other countries?
What a bad taste joke - the USA lends it's support to Japan - seems like the State Department doesn't know it's history and mixed up the facts of Pearl Harbour and which country was the aggressor. The US always has to have 'enemies' in its sight. The hypocrisy is jaw dropping as it's military budget is totally obscene and it has the gall to criticize China's stance in a territorial dispute. We in Asia should be concerned about the re-emergence of Japanese militarism given the propaganda attempts by Abe and his nationalist goons trying to rewrite history!
One rose by sin and all by virtue fall!
Do as I say, not as I do.
I find it hypocritical that Chuck Hagel tells Russia and China that in today's world it is wrong to redefine a country's borders, yet this U.S. administration is leading the way in telling the Israelis they must redefine their borders.
Mr Hagel is hypocritical for the many reasons stated in the comments here. He (or the US government) should look at the problem objectively at least in the dispute between China and Japan.
What we are seeing is a lot of posturing from all sides to maintain the 'status quo'. However, we should examine the root of the problem especially between China and Japan, which had recently enjoyed a peaceful blossoming relationship under PM Hatoyama. Unfortunately, the problems began sometime in 2010 when Ishihara Shintaro provoked the then Japanese government into nationalizing the disputed islands. There was of course the longstanding problem of right wing extremism lurking in the background but these events (including the robust response by the Chinese) brought these forces to the fore and into mainstream politics. Secondly, Japan lost her second largest economy status to China and was affected by the prolonged economic doldrums and insecurities. It appears they are unable to cope and acknowledge this changing order. There has been always sense of superiority complex historically. In the long run, this dispute will damage the interests of all party but the particularly the Japanese, who is currently isolated by her neighbors (powerful and crazy).
It is America's business because of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation, although that doesn't prevent us from breaking any agreement as was shown in Crimea.
Because - the US have the seven fleet patrolling the oceans to safeguard their own imperialistic fascist interests to dominate the world on trade? They also have the unsinkable aircraft carrier aka Okinawa militray base right next door, and they have these land bases at South Korea : Bonifas, Carroll, Casey, Walker, Yongsan... at least 15.
And all along we have the good media of the free world [in the cold war BTW most of the spies were 'reporters' working for some foreign correpondence office] calling the Kims at North Koreans mad. Well, a reality check for NK and PRC, may be they should be banging their heads, looking at how the US is hell-bent to start a Sea of Japan and South China Sea war with China, using Japan, SK and the PP, just when they are demobilising from the Afghan-Iraq war.
It's saddening that the good US citizens are duped and even more disheartening that some of they go to the army and navy and fight for the wrong reasons- not on existential wars [the last one, which is still on, is called war-on-terror, the best one yet- nobody knows for certain whether 911 was started by the US themselves]. One hopes the US service men and women can all go AWOL on conscience for the hmanity.
M Miyagi
The United States would be well advised to take her own advice and not behave like a bully. The foul mouthed Nulan who said F the EU is an example of the ugly American. Chuck Hagel and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera have a lot in common. Equally obscene and senseless. American exceptionalism is becoming more like Japanese recalcitrance. Did war mongers and devil worshippers Itsunori Onodera and Shinzo Abe suc*k clean all the common sense from Chuck Hagel? Or did some Japanese prostitutes F the old bugger out of his mind? Whatever the reason, US government officials is just like their ars$ehole commander-in-chief the Snake of Washington. Hopefully Putin will clobber the US serpant dead!



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