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U.S.-China Relations Key Topic at Defense Meeting

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta isn’t lending credence to suggestions that America’s new focus on the Asia-Pacific region means conflict or poses a threat to China, and he’s offering an olive branch to Beijing today.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Speaking at a security conference in Singapore, in China’s back yard, Panetta says the two often-feuding world powers must learn to work better together for everyone’s benefit. Panetta also says neither side is naive about their disagreements.

Panetta also warned Asian nations that they must find ways to resolve their own conflicts because the U.S. can’t always come charging in to help.

Tensions between the U.S. and China are often focused on America’s support of the island of Taiwan, which China considers its own. Another key area of dispute is the South China Sea, which China claims, though other Asian nations dispute that.

Recently, the U.S. has blamed China for cyberattacks.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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