A top Chinese general Thursday strongly defended Beijing's territorial claims over disputed islands in the South and East China Seas and charged that the U.S. rebalance of forces to the Pacific was encouraging unrest in the region.
Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, said "the rebalancing strategy of the U.S. has stirred up some of the problems which make the South China Sea and the East China Sea not so calm as before."
Fang warned that China would respond to any attempts by Vietnam, Japan or other neighbors to assert their own claims over the disputed islands and reefs.
"We do not create trouble but we are not afraid of trouble," Fang said at a Pentagon news conference after meetings with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dempsey appeared to be slightly irritated as he waited to comment while listening to a long-winded response by Fang on the current dispute with Vietnam over offshore oil drilling rights.
"Thank you for giving me the time to formulate my answer," Dempsey told Fang.
When his turn finally came, Dempsey dismissed Fang's objections to the so-called "Pacific pivot" and said the U.S. was committed to the policy.
"We'll go because we can and should, and we'll go because we have to," Dempsey said of the rebalance. Dempsey also told Fang "We will respond to threats."
to read more: military.com
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