Panetta: US Not Trying to Contain China : U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, left, shakes hands with China’s Vice President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 19, 2012. – September 19, 2012
Panetta’s comments to young officers at a Chinese military academy in Beijing are one of Washington’s most direct statements yet about the intentions of its “pivot” toward the region.
“Our re-balance toward the Asia-Pacific region is not an attempt to contain China,” said Panetta. “It is an attempt to engage China and expand its role in the Asia-Pacific. It’s about creating a new model in the relationship of our two Pacific powers. It’s about renewing and revitalizing our role in a part of the world that is rapidly becoming more critical to our economic, diplomatic, and security interests.”
Panetta also said expanding U.S. missile defense systems are aimed at North Korea’s ballistic missile arsenal, and not at China.
The Pentagon chief is using his three-day trip to China to promote deeper military ties between Washington and Beijing, which have become skeptical of one another’s intentions in the Asia-Pacific.
On Wednesday, a smiling and energetic Xi said he hoped Panetta’s visit will help advance “state-to-state and military-to-military” ties between Washington and Beijing.
Washington has expressed concern at China’s military build-up and increased assertiveness in defending its maritime claims. Beijing fears Washington’s new focus on Asia is emboldening U.S. allies such as Japan and the Philippines to directly confront China.
In his speech at the military academy, Panetta acknowledged that building mutual trust will take time. But he says it is important for both sides to look beyond the disagreements to areas where they can work together.
The defense secretary’s visit comes as China and Japan, an American ally, are involved in a bitter territorial dispute about a group of islands in the East China Sea. Panetta has urged both sides to exercise restraint and repeated Washington’s insistence that it does not take sides in the dispute.
But an article in the Communist Party-controlled Global Times on Wednesday says it is “obvious” that Washington is partial to Japan. The newspaper, which often reflects official thinking, says Beijing should use Panetta’s visit to let the United States know it will take all necessary steps to safeguard the islands, known in Chinese as Diaoyu and in Japanese as Senkaku.
Boisterous anti-Japan protests that spread across China on Tuesday were also partly focused on the United States. The U.S. State Department issued a statement that a car carrying U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke was mildly damaged after about 50 protesters surrounded it outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing. The statement says the ambassador was not hurt and the protesters were dispersed by Chinese security personnel.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta carries his lunch with cadets in the mess hall at the PLA Engineering Academy of Armored Forces in Beijing, Sept. 19.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has lunch with cadets in the mess hall at the PLA Engineering Academy of Armored Forces on Sept. 19 in Beijing, China. Can’t really make out if there was ‘Tako’ on the trays . . . hmm no manjuu? No harm for the Chinese since New Zealand and not Japan is the last stop . . . but New Zealanders, how feel you about this slightly diminishing window on Maori Sovereignty? Native Ameri-Red-Indians, no access to media or not a word?
By Phaedra Singelis, NBC News
Panetta met with Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi today, who just days ago reappeared after a puzzling two-week absence. Panetta told the press his “impression was that he was very healthy and very engaged.” He also ate lunch with and spoke to cadets at the Armored Forces Engineering Academy where he reassured them about America’s plans to put a second radar system in Japan. “Our rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region is not an attempt to contain China,” he said. “It is an attempt to engage China and expand its role in the Pacific. It is about creating a new model in the relationship of two Pacific powers.”
Environmental projects under construction in Sansha – Global Times – Xinhua – Updated: 2012-09-19 22:01
SANSHA – Construction on several environmental preservation projects has kicked off in the newly established island city of Sansha in the South China Sea, authorities said Wednesday.
Construction on a sewage processing and pipeline project and a garbage collecting and transferring project started on Aug 25, sources with the Sansha government said.
The two projects, being built with a combined investment of over 50 million yuan ($7.9 million), will be capable of processing 1,800 tonnes of sewage and 20 tonnes of garbage each day upon completion, according to the sources.
Another project that kicked off on Sept 14 is aimed at protecting island coasts that have been eroded by the sea.
The government of Hainan, a southern province that administers Sansha, will prioritize environmental protection in all construction projects, as Sansha’s ecological environment is fragile and non-renewable, said provincial governor Jiang Dingzhi.
Meanwhile, the Sansha government is working on a development plan that will include transportation and ecological protection as part of upgrades for the city’s infrastructure, sources said.
Sansha was officially set up on July 24 on Yongxing Island to administer the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea.
Provincial officials in Hainan Province have approved the registration of two enterprises in Sansha, the country’s newest city established on July 24 on Yongxing Island, which also administers three other islands in the South China Sea.
A construction company and a tourism company were registered in the province on August 23 and September 6, indicating the city is open to investors.
The provincial industry and commerce administration was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency Tuesday as saying that approvals of enterprise registration have to be issued at the provincial level until the city’s own administration is fully established.
Considering the limited office space available in Sansha, enterprises registered there are allowed to set up their offices in other cities, said the administration.
Wen Zheng, director of the administration’s office in charge of enterprise registration, said applications and enquiries from investors wanting to set up enterprise in Sansha have started to flock in after the State Council approved establishing the city in June.
“Investors are welcome to play their part in promoting the city’s economic growth, as special channels will be set up for investors, and administrative procedures will also be streamlined to facilitate the registration process,” Wen said.
The two companies were approved after fishermen from 22 households on Yongxing Island, where the city government is based, were granted an individual business license on July 13, days before the city was officially founded.
Whether foreign-funded enterprises should be given approval in Sansha will be discussed after the city’s administration is established.
According to regulations of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, foreign-funded enterprises are allowed to register in prefecture-level cities and above in the country.
Note : Hainan Province, known as Qiongzhou in ancient times, has long been under the jurisdiction of Guangdong Province. But in May 1984, the decision was approved to establish the Hainan Administrative District on the island at the Second Session of the Sixth National People’s Congress. Under the district’s jurisdiction are also the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands in the South China Sea. The district governing body is the Hainan Administrative District’s Government under the Guangdong Provincial People’s Government. In August 1987, the State Council made a proposal to establish Hainan as a province. In 1988, Hainan Island became China’s 30th province and its largest economic zone. The Hainan Province administers three cities, 16 counties, as well as the islands and reefs of the Xisha Islands, Nansha Islands and Zhongsha Islands and seawaters around them. The province has an area of 34,000 sq km, an average temperature between 22 and 26 degrees centigrade and an annual rainfall of 1,600 to 2,000 millimeters.
US insists missile defense targets DPRK, not China – Updated: 2012-08-25 00:29 – by Li Xiaokun in Beijing and Tan Yingzi in Washington ( China Daily)
Washington’s plan to expand an advanced missile-defense system in Asia is directed at Pyongyang, not Beijing, the US State Department said on Thursday.
However, military experts in both the United States and China questioned the US’ intentions, saying the expensive system, which is well beyond Pyongyang’s military capability, is actually “looking at China”.
The Chinese military also called for the US to handle anti-missile issues with great discretion and avoid “letting its own state security take priority over other countries’ national security”.
The Wall Street Journal’s front-page story on Thursday talked about Pentagon plans to put a second X-Band early-warning radar in southern Japan to complement one that has been in the country’s north since 2006.
It said the US military has also been evaluating sites in Southeast Asia for a third X-Band radar to create an arc that would allow the US and its regional allies to “more accurately track any ballistic missiles launched from (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), as well as from parts of China”.
Some US defense officials said the Philippines, which is at odds with China on territorial issues, is a potential site for the third radar.
Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed later on Thursday that the US is in discussions with Japan on the issue.
“It’s certainly a topic of conversation because missile defense is important to both of our nations,” Dempsey said at the start of a meeting with his visiting Japanese counterpart, Shigeru Iwasaki, at the Pentagon.
Victoria Nuland, a spokesperson for the US State Department, said on Thursday the missile defense work is not directed at China.
“They are designed against a missile threat” from the DPRK, she said, adding that the system is a defensive one, and that Washington has told Beijing about it.
“We do have regular conversations with China … We are quite open and transparent about what it is that we’re doing and why,” she said at the daily news briefing.
The People’s Liberation Army’s deputy chief of general staff, General Cai Yingting, started a US visit this week, which follows one in May by Defense Minister Liang Guanglie. It is not clear whether the anti-missile system is being discussed during Cai’s visit.
However, China’s Ministry of National Defense on Thursday said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal that “China has always believed that anti-missile issues should be handled with great discretion, from the perspective of protecting global strategic stability and promoting strategic mutual trust among all countries.
“We advocate that all parties fully respect and be mindful of the security concerns of one another and try to realize overall safety through mutual benefit and win-win efforts, while avoiding the situation in which one country tries to let its own state security take priority over other countries’ national security.”
Beijing objected to the first X-Band deployment in Japan in 2006. Moscow also voiced similar concerns about the system in Europe and the Middle East.
“The focus of our rhetoric is (the DPRK),” Steven Hildreth, a missile-defense expert with the Congressional Research Service, an advisory arm of the US Congress, told the Wall Street Journal.
In April, Pyongyang launched a rocket that blew up less than two minutes into its flight.
“The reality is that we’re also looking longer-term at the elephant in the room, which is China,” Hildreth said.
Jonathan Pollack, Asia-Pacific security expert at the Brookings Institution, said that in theory, this new radar expansion will have the capabilities to go well beyond the defense of Japan.
In order to prevent a major potential escalation of that kind of competition in East Asia, “for this reason alone, I believe there is a pressing priority for the next president of the United States, either President (Barack) Obama or Governor (Mitt) Romney, to open a series of discussions with China about issues of missile defense,” he said.
The US presidential election will be in early November, and the winner will be sworn into office on Jan 20.
Li Qinggong, deputy secretary of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, said the radar arc can look at missiles launched from coastal area of China.
“The early-warning radar is the key part of an anti-missile system. It can detect a launched missile, as well as determine its trajectory and model.
“It will be like killing a fly with a bazooka if it is used to contain Pyongyang. I believe it is mainly aimed at detecting China’s missiles.”
The Wall Street Journal report said Washington is concerned over the growing imbalance of power across the Taiwan Straits.
However, Yin Zhuo, a Beijing-based military expert, said “the US won’t spend so much energy on Taiwan, to implement ballistic missiles, interceptor missiles and GPS radars everywhere.
“Just a GPS radar costs more than $1 billion,” Yin said, adding that Taiwan is just one of the many considerations in the program.
“And to ‘protect’ Taiwan is just a move for the US to deal with China, not an ultimate goal.”
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ICCR Notes :
USA had better save the money for the Middle East and perhaps even try to consolidate Iraq. Who knows the 2 Koreas could re-unite, Taiwan and China re-unites, then the USA would have wasted all that money for nothing. Focus on consolidating Iraq, then maybe Iran can be controlled . . .
Hu: Diaoyu Islands purchase illegal, invalid – Updated: 2012-09-09 21:50 – ( Xinhua)
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia – Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday and made clear China’s position on its relations with Japan and the Diaoyu Islands issue.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of the 20th informal economic leaders’ meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Hu seriously pointed out that China-Japan relations have recently faced a severe situation due to the Diaoyu Islands issue, saying China holds a consistent, clear stance on the issue.
Whatever ways the Japanese side uses to “purchase the islands” are illegal and invalid and China firmly opposes such moves, he said.
The Chinese government stands firm on the issue of safeguarding its territorial sovereignty, Hu said, adding Japan must fully recognize the gravity of the situation and should not make wrong decisions.
He urged Japan to work with the Chinese side to maintain the overall development of the two countries’ relations.
ICCR Notes :
On Sept 18, 1931, Japanese soldiers blew up a railway as a pretext to take control of the entire northeastern region of China. The date marks a “day of national humiliation”. Sirens wailed at 9:18 am Tuesday in Shenyang, provincial capital of Northeast China’s Liaoning province, kicking off nationwide activities. Thousands of people in Beijing marched to the well-guarded Japanese embassy, chanting slogans including “Never forget the national humiliation’‘.
There is no basis for Japan’s claims, historically or ethically or by maritime law. USA is busy in the Middle East and Diaoyu Island can only belong to China. Long live the Fatherland! Long live the Imperium Sinensis!