BEIJING, CHINA –In a face to face meeting between the United States and China. US, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told to his Chinese counterpart Defense Minister Chang Wanquan on Tuesday that his country does not have the right to unilaterally establish an air defense zone over disputed islands with no consultation.
Hagel said that the United States in regards to the laid out US treaty obligations. America will protect and defend Japan, the Philippines and other allies locked in disputes with China.
Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said his country will not take the initiative to stir up troubles with Japan, but warned that Beijing is ready to use its military if needed to safeguard its territory.
Beijing’s recent declaration of an air defense zone over a large swath of the East China Sea, including disputed remote islands controlled by Japan, but also claimed by China has been criticized by Washington and Hagel was in Japan earlier this week, reassuring its leaders of ongoing US support.
A two hours shoulder-to-shoulder meetings and it was done for the first time in China. Hagel and Chang largely aired their countries’ well-known positions about the territorial disputes.
“Every nation has a right to establish an air defense zone, but not a right to do it unilaterally with no collaboration, no consultation. That adds to tensions, misunderstandings, and could eventually add to, and eventually get to, dangerous conflict,” said Hagel, pointing his finger toward television cameras and photographers at the back of the room, as shutters clicked.
Chang complained that the Philippines illegally occupies part of China’s island and reefs in the South China Sea.
China is always ready to respond militarily to any threats if we cannot resolve the disputes diplomatically. Chang added.
He told Hagel, “We will make no compromise, no concession, no trading, not even a tiny … violation is allowed.”