World Bulletin / News Desk
Fears that Russia's unilateral annexation of Crimea will set a precedent for other nations mean attention is now shifting to China's territorial claims in Asia. The concern for some is that China may decide to pursue its claims in Japan, South Korea, the East China Sea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, the Phillipines and the South China Sea.
During U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's visit to a Chinese naval base and tour of China’s first aircraft carrier, he demanded that Beijing respects the territorial claims of other Asia nations.
“You cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation, whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe,” said Hagel on Sunday.
However, China's foreign ministry spokesperson responded to U.S. statements: "No matter whether the Ukraine issue or the South China Sea issue, China has many times expressed its position. Why must this U.S. official mention the two issues in the same breath."
Beijing strongly defends the “nine-dash” line that outlines its claims to territory in the South China Sea, believed to be rich in energy reserves.
China-Japan island dispute
Relations between China and Japan have been tense due to a territorial row in the East China Sea, where China claims Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu in Chinese.
There are are eight uninhabited islands lying near energy reserves in the East China Sea, which Taiwan also claims.
In November 2013, China unilaterally declared an air defense identification zone, demanding any aircraft in the zone to comply with a number of rules laid down by Beijing. The zone covers the airspace above the disputed islands as well as Japan's claimed air defense zone.
Japan had described China's move as a 'unilateral escalation', which had also been criticized by the U.S.
Japan gave military bases to the U.S under a 1960 deal between the two countries and in return the U.S pledged to defend Japan in the event of an attack.Last Mod: 07 Nisan 2014, 17:04