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Kerry warns China against new air defence zone

Published on Feb 14, 2014 8:02 PM
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday, Feb 14, 2014, urged that any moves by Beijing to establish a new air defence identification zone be "done in an open, transparent way".  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry warned China on Friday against unilateral moves to set up a new air defence zone, saying such a step could threaten regional stability at a time of heightened tensions.

After a day of talks with senior Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping, Mr Kerry stressed that he had also highlighted the need to ease concerns over Beijing’s territorial ambitions.

The top US diplomat’s trip comes at a pivotal moment for the region, with flaring disputes between Beijing and Tokyo over their World War II history and disputed islands in the East China Sea sending relations between the Asian powers plummeting to their lowest point in recent years.

The issue of North Korea was also high on the agenda, with both sides putting specific ideas on the table for how to prod Beijing’s belligerent ally to take concrete steps towards denuclearisation.

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