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Hagel Addresses Chinese Concerns During Shangri-La Dialogue

By Karen Parrish, American Forces Press Service.

Singapore, June 1, 2013 – (AFPS) – During a question-and-answer session following his speech here this morning, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel countered a Chinese general’s question on whether the U.S. strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific is intended to contain China.

Hagel spoke at the 12th Annual Shangri-La Dialogue before delegates from some 27 nations in the region. Following his remarks, Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, director of China-America Defense Relations for China’s Academy of Military Science, expressed doubt about statements made by U.S. leaders that the U.S. strategic emphasis in the region is not intended to limit China’s military growth.

Hagel responded that as he said during his speech, the United States welcomes “a strong and emerging and responsible China.” The same is true of other emerging nations including India and Indonesia, he added.

“We look forward to that emergence for many reasons, but one among them all is as important as any other, and that’s the responsibility that great nations take on,” he said.

Powerful nations share responsibilities for security in their region, he said, because they have “huge stakes” in maintaining stability and peace.

“We recognize that; we want to be part of that,” the secretary said.

The United States has been a Pacific power for 200 years, Hagel noted, so its emphasis on the region is not new.

“We’ve had interests, partnerships, relationships in this part of the world for a long time,” he said. “We have interests here too, just as China and Russia and other nations have interests all over the world.”

Hagel said reassuring China on U.S. intentions in the region is at the core of enhanced military to military ties.

The United States wants to avoid miscalculations, misunderstandings and misinterpretations, he said.

“The only way you do that is you talk to each other,” the secretary said. “You’ve got to be direct with each other; you have to share with each other; you’ve got to be inclusive with each other. And I think we’re on track with that. I think we’ve made good … and continued progress on that, and we’ll make more progress.”

Later, a senior defense official who is part of Hagel’s delegation told reporters on background China is “the only country that is even questioning whether we have a containment strategy toward China. Everyone else recognizes that we don’t.”

The official acknowledged the U.S. did employ such a strategy during the Cold War. The relationship between the two countries now, he noted, is “very, very different.”

Hagel will remain in Singapore through the end of the Shangri-La Dialogue before traveling on to Brussels for NATO defense minister meetings. 


Chuck Hagel

Related Sites:

Special Report: Travels With Hagel

Shangri-La Dialogue 2013

L’Asie-Pacifique fait face à trois grands types de menaces et de risques

Asia-Pacific Is Faced with Three Major Types of Threats and Risks &

Advancing Defence Cooperation In The Asia-Pacific: Jean-Yves Le Drian

Meeting Challenges through Shared Principles, Interests and Objectives

Hagel Addresses Chinese Concerns During Shangri-La Dialogue

Hagel : "In Asia, We See a Range of Persistent and Emerging Threats"

Hagel, in remarks directed at China, speaks of cyberattack threat (New York Times)

Development of China Needs Asia, and Prosperity of Asia Needs China

Shangri-La Dialogue (Wikipedia)

Shangri-La dialogue: China's rising power in spotlight (BBC News Asia)

Shangri-La Dialogue opens in Singapore (CCTV, Beijing)


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).