• Tue
  • Jul 22, 2014
  • Updated: 10:05pm
NewsChina
SINO-US TIES

US defence chief Chuck Hagel challenged on issues including Japan and Taiwan

US defence chief warned about arms sales to Taipei and his call for Beijing to 'respect neighbours'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 2:15pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 5:35pm

The Chinese and US defence chiefs exchanged fire on a range of thorny regional and global security issues at their first official meeting in Beijing yesterday.

Defence minister Chang Wanquan said his discussion with his visiting US counterpart Chuck Hagel was "candid" and "constructive".

He said their talks covered topics including regional territorial disputes and cybersecurity.

Watch: US defence chief holds talks with Chinese counterpart

Chang also urged Washington to stop a bill that reaffirms America's commitment to Taiwan and calls for continued arms sales to the island.

He said Beijing was "strongly dissatisfied" with the move and firmly opposed it.

Hagel arrived on Monday and was given a rare tour of China's first aircraft carrier the Liaoning in Qingdao harbour.

But that welcoming gesture made way for a more hardline approach from Chang, who warned Washington to respect Beijing's core interests as the US shifts its strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region.

"The China-US relationship is not comparable to US-Russia ties in the cold war," Chang said at a joint press conference. "China's development cannot be contained by anyone."

On the territorial dispute with Japan over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, Chang warned that China's armed forces were "ready to assemble at the first call" and were "capable of winning". He warned the US to "stay vigilant" over Japan.

Hagel told Chang at the press conference that Washington had a treaty obligation to protect Japan in any dispute with China, and denounced Beijing's declaration of an air defence zone over the East China Sea in November.

He said: "Every nation has a right to establish an air defence zone, but not a right to do it unilaterally with no collaboration, no consultation.

Every nation has a right to establish an air defence zone, but not a right to do it unilaterally
CHUCK HAGEL, US DEFENCE SECRETARY

"That adds to tensions, misunderstandings, and could eventually add to, and eventually get to, dangerous conflict."

Hagel also called on Beijing to be more transparent about its cyber capabilities. But Chang said China was already being transparent and co-operative.

In another open confrontation, a deputy chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, Fan Changlong, told Hagel that Beijing was not happy with his remarks in Japan last week when he urged Beijing to respect its neighbours.

"I can tell you, frankly, your remarks made at the Asean defence ministers meeting and to the Japanese politicians were tough and with a clear attitude.

"The Chinese people, including myself, are dissatisfied with such remarks," Fan was quoted as saying by Xinhua at the opening of talks with Hagel.

In a positive gesture, both sides promised to step up a regular dialogue to minimise the risk of misunderstandings. Ni Lexiong , a Shanghai-based navy expert, said: "Both sides are not shying away from problems.

"The process may be tough, but it is better than pretending there is no problem."

The risk of conflict between China and the US was heightened in December when an American guided missile cruiser, the USS Cowpens, took evasive action to avoid colliding with a Chinese landing vessel in the South China Sea during exercises involving the Liaoning.

Zhu Feng , a security specialist at Peking University, said: "The two nations need to have mechanisms for deciding what action should be taken when their ships or aircrafts are getting close."

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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This article is now closed to comments

Rambo
Chuck Hagel says "Every nation has a right to establish an air defence zone, but not a right to do it unilaterally". When Japan established one it did so unilaterally. When the US established one it also did so unilaterally. So logically when China established one, it also did so unilaterally. China and Russia although not allies have the same rights as the US. That includes the right to tell Japan to respect international law and not to occupy the Diaoyu Islands which is Chinese territory. Japanese continued occupation of the Diaoyu Islands is a violation of the terms of Japan's unconditional surrender in 1945. That makes Japan an international outlaw. The US should not be supporting Japan when Japan is violating international law.
johnyuan
The Chinese saying that a picture worth a to match what takes place. I am glad we don’t tell story with just picture taking in spite it is at out finger tip with a camera equipped cell phone.
.
So look at this picture of US Defense Chief with a hand in his chest pocket. What does it imply to say? And why SCMP think it is appropriate to use despite the meeting didn’t as reported go well. For me SCMP’s misuse of photo of an inconsequential gesture to reflect it is so. It is not journalism. It is trumping up a situation with or without an agenda. The reader is shortchanged.
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Or the misuse of the photo just simply brings a lot of fun to some editor – see how clever I am?
mercedes2233
Don't know why this is important. He also has his tongue out. The photo was taken by Associated Press which also did the reporting. I don't think anything was 'implied' by this. A photo is only a photo of events. Maybe Chuck Hagel should be advised to behave with propriety at all times in future.
johnyuan
The Chinese saying a picture worth a million of words (matching what takes place).
johnwe
The Americans had it coming.These days no one fears their hectoring and threats - least of all the Russians and Chinese. They can say anything they like but they will get a prompt, robust riposte with interest if the subject of their criticism does not like what they said.
That guy is out of his depth in knowledge about the history of this part of the world and is a joke as a diplomat from the way he has gone about his jingoistic way. To take such an offensive shot at China just before arriving there as a guest, and asking for a look-see at China's first aircraft carrier is asking for some mud and egg in his face and he does not know how to respond.
Reminds me of the US Senator visiting China sometime back, who was amazed that he was refused access to some of the places and things he asked for, saying that the US Senate had authorized his trip and mission!@&$ No one remembers him or what he wanted but just his humiliation and the temerity and stupidity of the expectation that authorization from the US Senate guarantees access to anything in China. He went home with his tail between his legs.
Nagel will have to do likewise.
daily
These type of discussions is beyond what Hagel is capable of dealing with............anything he says now is meaningless.............Another lame Defence Secretary that got pushed into a meaningless job.
honger
Please do not underestimate dear Chuckle. he might have left school at 9, but sold enough mobile phones to become a millionaire..........however, a tutorial or two on Japan's relations with its neighbours the last 150 years would help a lot.
mercedes2233
Many Mexican drug lords are billionaires a thousand times over. That does not make them respectable or credible or even smart. A mobile phone seller is not necessarily someone I would recruit in any company.
How About
War, as there is no better word, is good!
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It clarifies human destiny, it clears the clod and focuses all combatants to erase millions in one go. This is Genesis at the hands of Adam and Eve themselves.
.
War keeps the economy humming, the inflation & GDP sky-rocketing. It churns up production rate and it keeps those who are not dead employed.
.
it destroys the cities so that new ones will be built again more building and infrastructure. Other than the stock markets which is a big deferred ponzi scheme and insurance, Every single sector of industries benefit from wars.
.
War re-distributes wealth quicker in 2 year than it would in 2 centuries!
.
Come join KRB, Hallibutan. We make wars, and, the best weapons to fight in one!
.
Uncle Sam wants you {for those willing to die}!
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Uncle Sam also wants the rest of you to keep up with the War Efforts and the breed the next generation of soldiers!
.
mercedes2233
Uncle Sam also gets to dispose of its aging weapons, and let its cronies (eg **** Cheney) make billions. The US is hardly in wars for altruistic purposes.

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