US defense chief cautions China on territorial claims

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday, April 6, cautioned China against taking any unilateral action on its territorial claims that could anger its neighbors and the international community. “All nations deserve respect, no matter how large or how small,” Hagel said during a visit to Tokyo. Hagel also drew a parallel reference with Russia and its annexation of Crimea. “You cannot go around and redefine boundaries, violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation – whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific, or large nations in Europe,” Hagel added. His recent statements comes on the heals of a reaffirmed military alliance between the US and Japan as well as the deployment of two more ballistic missile defense ships to Japan. Hagel is now in China for talks with his defense counterpart.

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