World News

Apr 8, 2014 6:53 AM by Associated Press

Hagel, Chang air differences over disputed islands

BEIJING (AP) - The defense chiefs of China and the U.S. are facing off over Beijing's escalating territorial disputes in the region.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wagged his finger and told China it doesn't have the right to unilaterally establish an air defense zone over disputed islands with no consultation. And he said America will protect Japan in a dispute with China.

In return, Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said his country will not take the initiative to stir up troubles with Japan. But he also said Beijing is ready to use its military if needed to safeguard its territory.

The U.S. has criticized Beijing's recent declaration of an air defense zone over a large swath of the East China Sea, including disputed islands controlled by Japan.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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