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China must stop threats in maritime disputes: US

Published on Feb 7, 2013 12:16 PM
 
United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta meets members from the Reserve Officers' Training Corps programme at Gaston Hall of Georgetown University on Feb 6, 2013, prior to making a speech. He urged China to avoid confrontation and seek out a peaceful dialogue with Japan and other countries over territorial disputes. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday urged China to avoid confrontation and seek out a peaceful dialogue with Japan and other countries over territorial disputes.

The Pentagon chief said he has appealed to his counterparts in Beijing to negotiate regional agreements to defuse an array of disagreements over maritime territory.

Asked about tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands after giving a speech at Georgetown University, Mr Panetta voiced concern that "it's the kind of situation where there are territorial claims that could ultimately get out of hand."

He added: "One country or the other could react in a way that could create an even greater crisis."

 
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