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US warns China not to attempt Crimea-style action in Asia

Published on Apr 4, 2014 9:10 AM
United States Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel (left) with his South Korean counterpart Lee Kyung Soo during their meeting in Seoul on Jan 26, 2014. Mr Russell has cautioned China not to use force to pursue territorial claims in Asia in the way Russia has in Crimea. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS  

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - China should not doubt the US commitment to defend its Asian allies and the prospect of economic retaliation should also discourage Beijing from using force to pursue territorial claims in Asia in the way Russia has in Crimea, a senior US official has said.

Mr Daniel Russel, President Barack Obama's diplomatic point man for East Asia, said it was difficult to determine what China's intentions might be, but Russia's annexation of Crimea had heightened concerns among US allies in the region about the possibility of China using force to pursue its claims.

"The net effect is to put more pressure on China to demonstrate that it remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the problems," Mr Russel, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Mr Russel said the retaliatory sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States, the European Union and others should have a "chilling effect on anyone in China who might contemplate the Crimea annexation as a model."

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