China will defend its maritime rights: Defence minister
WASHINGTON, DC (AFP) - Military relations between China and the United States (US) are steadily improving but Beijing remains determined to defend its maritime rights, the country's defence minister said on Monday during a US visit.
Although General Chang Wanquan and his US counterpart, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel, struck an optimistic tone after more than three hours of talks, the Chinese official made clear Beijing would not make concessions when it comes to its core interests.
"We always insist that related disputes be solved through dialogue and negotiation," Mr Chang told a joint news conference at the Pentagon.
"However, no one should fantasise that China would barter away our core interests, and no one should underestimate our will and determination in defending our territory, sovereignty and maritime rights," he said.