Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 1st 2014 Contents A38
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 1, 2014
China is destabilising the South
China Sea region by pursuing terri-
torial disputes with other nations,
the US defence secretary, Chuck
Hagel, has said.
Speaking at an international security
conference in Singapore on Saturday,
Hagel said the US would not look the
other way when countries such as
China tried to restrict navigation or
ignore international rules and stan-
"In recent months, China has
undertaken destabilising, unilateral
actions asserting its claims in the South
China Sea," he said.
But China s president, Xi Jinping,
played down the threat posed by run-
ning disputes in the area. "We will
never stir up trouble, but will react in
the necessary way to the provocations
of countries involved," Xinhua news
agency quoted Xi as saying after meet-
ing the Malaysian prime minister, Najib
Razak, on Friday.
For the second year in a row, Hagel
used the podium at the Shangri-La
conference to accuse China of cyber-
spying against the US.
While this has been a persistent
complaint by the US, his remark came
less than two weeks after it charged
five Chinese military officers with
hacking into American companies to
steal trade secrets.
The Chinese, in response, suspended
participation in a US-China cyber
working group, and released a report
that said the US was conducting
unscrupulous cyber espionage.
Noting the suspension, Hagel said
in his speech that the US would con-
tinue to raise cyber issues with the
Chinese, "because dialogue is essential
for reducing the risk of miscalculation
and escalation in cyberspace".
In a string of remarks aimed directly
at China, Hagel said the US opposed
any nation s use of intimidation or
threat of force to assert territorial
"All nations of the region, including
China, have a choice: to unite, and
recommit to a stable regional order,
or, to walk away from that commit-
ment and risk the peace and security
that has benefited millions of people
throughout the Asia-Pacific, and bil-
lions of people around the world," he
China and Japan have been at odds
over uninhabited islands in the East
China Sea that are controlled by Japan
but claimed by both.
The US has declined to take sides
on the sovereignty issue but has made
clear it has a treaty obligation to sup-
port Japan. And the US has also
refused to recognise China s declaration
of an air defence zone over a large
swath of the East China Sea, including
the disputed islands.
Hagel s remarks drew an immediate
challenge from Major-General Yao
Yunzhu of China s People s Liberation Army, who
questioned if the US and its allies followed inter-
national law and consulted with others whey they
set up air defence zones.
Yao, director of the Centre for China-America
Defence Relations at the PLA s Academy of Military
Science, also questioned how the US could say it
was not taking a position on the island sovereignty
issue, while still saying it was committed to its
treaty obligation to support Japan.
Hagel said the US and allies consulted with its
neighbours and, unlike China, did not unilaterally
set up air defence zones.
US officials have raised concerns about Beijing s
decision to plant an oil rig in part of the South
China Sea also claimed by Vietnam.
The move has led to a series of clashes between
the two nations in the waters around the rig, includ-
ing the recent sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat.
Chinese leaders, however, have been equally strong
in defending their territorial actions, and have blamed
the Obama administration s new focus on Asia for
emboldening some of the disputes. (AP)
China is destabilising South China
Sea, US defence secretary says A man and his mother have died trying to
retrieve his wife s new mobile phone from a toilet
septic tank in China.
The woman had dropped her device---worth
2,000 yuan---in the open-pit toilet, reported Dahe,
a Web site run by the Henan provincial government.
Her husband jumped in to try to find the phone
but was overcome by fumes and passed out, it
His mother went in to the cesspit to try to help
her son, but also fainted, prompting the woman
and her father-in-law to enter in turn. Two neigh-
bours then entered the tank and also became ill.
Villagers in Xinxiang, in central China, used ropes
to retrieve the six people from the tank, which
online images showed to be accessed via a brick-
built hole measuring one metre square.
"In five minutes, two lives have gone and my
daughter-in-law is unconscious, leaving a half-
paralysed elderly man and a one-year-old grandson,"
the husband s distraught uncle said, according to
Dahe. "How are we supposed to go on?" (UK
Two people die in
China retrieving phone
from septic tank
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