- In an effort to build bilateral ties, United States Defence Secretary Charles Hagel was given an unexpected tour around ‘Liaoning’-China’s first aircraft carrier by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). This was the first ever such tour granted for a senior foreign official.
- Hagel, who had before arrival called on China to wield its influence responsibly and abstain for intimidating its neighbours, appreciated the effort as a genuine attempt to open up about a brand new capability.
- China and Japan are disputing over the claim to the East China Sea islands — Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China — and over questions of wartime history. Beijing being one of the 10 claimants to the islands and waters of South China Sea.
- When in Japan, Mr. Hagel criticised China’s move of establishing an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea, including disputed islands. Angry Chinese media claimed that the establishment of ADIZ is a normal move, which conforms to the U.N. Charter and is aimed at ensuring stability while the escalating tension, in the first place, was ignited by Tokyo’s illegal ‘nationalisation’ of China’s Diaoyu Islands in 2012.
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