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US defence chief expresses concern over Japan-China standoff
Publication Date : 08-02-2013
In a speech at Georgetown University, US defence secretary Leon Panetta criticises China
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta expressed strong concern regarding the standoff between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands during a speech at Georgetown University in Washington on Wednesday.
"[The issue of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea] concerns us a great deal," Panetta said, adding that the United States has already made both countries aware of its view.
"It cannot be a China that threatens...to go after their territories and create territorial disputes," Panetta said, criticising China.
With regard to China's escalating provocations, such as the recent radar lock-on by a Chinese Navy ship on a Maritime Self-Defence Force destroyer in the East China Sea, Panetta said, "It's the kind of situation where there are territorial claims that could ultimately get out of hand and...one country or the other could react in a way that could create an even greater crisis."
Panetta also pointed out the importance of cooperation with US allies such as Japan and South Korea to deal with North Korea's nuclear and missile development and other issues in Northeast Asia.
Panetta said it is important that China recognises "that the United States, Japan and [South] Korea and other countries in that part of the world are going to do everything we have to do to promote security and prosperity, and that they should be a part of that, not against it."