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US defence chief gets earful as China visit exposes tensions

Published on Apr 9, 2014 2:29 AM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Tensions between China and the United States were on full display on Tuesday as defence Secretary Chuck Hagel faced questions in Beijing about America's position in bitter territorial disputes with regional US allies.

Chinese defence Minister Chang Wanquan, standing side-by-side with Hagel, called on the United States to restrain ally Japan and chided another US ally, the Philippines.

Then, Hagel was sharply questioned by Chinese officers at the National defence University. One of them told Hagel he was concerned that the United States was stirring up trouble in the East and South China Sea because it feared someday "China will be too big a challenge for the United States to cope with."

"Therefore you are using such issues ... to make trouble to hamper (China's) development," the officer said.

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