China says to step up vigilance after US navy shift

By REUTERS
June 3, 2012 09:14

China will intensify its vigilance, but not lash back, after the United States announced it will shift most of its warships to the Asia-Pacific region by 2020, media reported on Sunday.

People's Liberation Army (PLA) Lieutenant General Ren Haiquan's comments were Beijing's first public reaction to the statement on Saturday by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that the Pentagon will reposition its naval fleet so 60 percent of its battleships are in the Asia-Pacific by the end of the decade, up from about 50 percent now.

"First, we should not treat this as a disaster," said Ren, who is leading the Chinese delegation to the regional security dialogue in Singapore where Panetta also announced the shift.

"I believe that this is the United States' response to its own national interests, its fiscal difficulties and global security developments," Ren said in comments reported by Hong Kong's Phoenix Television.


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