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Apr 10, 2014

U.S. defense chief praises Mongolia, given horse during visit

ULAN BATOR (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised Mongolian troops and got a horse as a gift during a rare visit on Thursday to the landlocked nation strategically located between China and Russia that sits on vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth.

Hagel was the first U.S. defense secretary to visit Mongolia since Donald Rumsfeld stopped there in 2005. He noted the growing role the country has taken in international peacekeeping operations, including in Afghanistan, where it has 350 troops.

Apr 9, 2014

China fires shot across U.S. bow ahead of Obama’s Asia trip

BEIJING (Reuters) – In one of the many frank exchanges U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had in China this week, General Fan Changlong told him how one of his uncles died as a slave in a Japanese mine during World War Two.

Fan, deputy head of China’s powerful Central Military Commission, spoke about the lessons of history, signaling Beijing’s concerns that the United States was siding with Japan against China.

Apr 8, 2014

U.S. defence chief gets earful as China visit exposes tensions

BEIJING (Reuters) – Tensions between China and the United States were on full display on Tuesday as Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel faced questions in Beijing about America’s position in bitter territorial disputes with regional U.S. allies.

Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan, standing side-by-side with Hagel, called on the United States to restrain ally Japan and chided another U.S. ally, the Philippines.

Apr 8, 2014

China calls on U.S. to restrain ally Japan as tension simmers

BEIJING (Reuters) – China called on the United States on Tuesday to restrain ally Japan and chided another U.S. ally, the Philippines, at the end of talks between American and Chinese defense chiefs that showed the strain of regional territorial disputes on Sino-U.S. ties.

The forceful comments by Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan came just a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured China’s sole aircraft carrier, in a rare opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military ambitions.

Apr 7, 2014

U.S. defence chief, in first, to visit China’s aircraft carrier

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expects to visit China’s sole aircraft carrier when he arrives in the country on Monday, a U.S. official said, in an unprecedented opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military buildup.

The official believed Hagel would be the first official visitor from outside China to be allowed on board the Liaoning, although that could not be immediately confirmed.

Apr 6, 2014

Defense chief Hagel, in first, to visit China’s aircraft carrier

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expects to visit China’s sole aircraft carrier when he arrives in the country on Monday, a U.S. official said, in an unprecedented opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military buildup.

The planned carrier visit, which will come at the start of Hagel’s three-day trip to China, was quietly approved by Beijing at Washington’s request and had not been previously announced, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Apr 6, 2014

U.S., eyeing North Korea, to send more missile defense ships to Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States will deploy two additional destroyers equipped with missile defense systems to Japan by 2017, in a move Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday was a response in part to North Korean missile launches that have alarmed the region.

Tensions have been building between North Korea and its neighbors since Pyongyang – in an apparent show of defiance – fired two Rodong missiles on March 26, just as the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States were sitting down to discuss containing the North Korean nuclear threat.

Apr 6, 2014

U.S., eyeing N.Korea, to send more missile defence ships to Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States will deploy two additional destroyers equipped with missile defence systems to Japan by 2017, in a move Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday was a response in part to North Korean missile launches that have alarmed the region.

Tensions have been building between North Korea and its neighbours since Pyongyang – in an apparent show of defiance – fired two Rodong missiles on March 26, just as the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States were sitting down to discuss containing the North Korean nuclear threat.

Apr 5, 2014

Hagel, in Tokyo, moves to reassure Japan on security ties

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel moved on Saturday to reassure Japan of America’s commitment to its security, as Russia’s annexation of Crimea raises eyebrows in a region facing its own territorial disputes with an increasingly assertive China.

The United States and its allies have made clear they have no military plans to defend Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, instead moving to isolate Russia diplomatically and impose limited sanctions.

Apr 4, 2014

U.S. to skip China fleet review after Japan shunned

HONOLULU (Reuters) – The United States is scrapping plans for a Navy ship to join a fleet review in China after key ally, Japan, was not invited, U.S. officials said on Thursday, in a move that came just ahead of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s trip to Japan and China.

The United States had been invited to participate in the fleet review – essentially a parade of ships – as part of activities linked to the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, which is being held this month in Qingdao, an eastern port city.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Stewart has worked for Reuters since 1998 and reported from more than 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. Before becoming a Washington D.C.-based military affairs and intelligence reporter, Phil covered terrorism, foreign affairs and the Vatican from Rome from 2004 until mid-2009. He has also previously been based in Colombia and Brazil as a foreign correspondent. Before joining Reuters, Phil covered U.S. politics out of Washington D.C. for States News Service. He earned his BS in international relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. ..."
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