China-U.S. Talk Gets Heated At Asian Security Conference

China is striking back a day after the U.S., Japan and other Asian countries harshly criticized the country at a regional security conference.
Posted at 4:31 PM, May 31, 2014

China is striking back a day after the U.S., Japan and other Asian countries harshly criticized the country at a security conference. 

At the conference, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's asserted that Beijing "has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions" in the East and South China Seas. (Via BBC)

CHUCK HAGEL: "China has called the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation... That's what it should be." (Via Al Jazeera)

But Chinese officials called his comments “full of threats and intimidating language.” (Via BBC)

Many of China's neighbors lined up with the American view, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his country will side with Vietnam, the Philippines and other Asia Pacific countries in territorial disputes with China. (Via Arirang)

And while some nations are reluctant to antagonize China due to economic and polities ties, others — especially U.S. allies — would welcome an increased role from Japan in this debate.

The security conference is the first major event to bring together U.S., Chinese and other Asian military officials since China constructed a deep-sea drilling platform in waters also claimed by Vietnam earlier this month. (Via Press TV)

China defended the move, as well as other actions taken in the East and South China Seas, as normal activities for any country operating in its own territory. 

The New York Times explains Chinese General Wang Guanzhong was particularly critical of Hagel and Abe's commentary, claiming the two were "singing in duet."  

Wang said: “[they] openly criticized China without reason ... in this kind of public space with many people ... [Their] speech is full of encouragement [and] incitement for the Asia region’s instability giving rise to a disturbance.”

An analyst tells The Wall Street Journal other countries' views of China have shifted considerably in the past few years, but that is because China is now behaving more like a great power. 

"You could say now that ... they're behaving with a sense of entitlement, a sense of exceptionalism—the way the Americans have done, and the British before them—as if the rules don't apply to them."

On Tuesday, a Vietnamese fishing boat sank after it collided with with a Chinese vessel in disputed waters. Both countries blame the other for the incident.