China says hopes US will respect concern after naval shift

BEIJING - China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday it hoped the United States would respect Chinese concerns in the region, after the US defense secretary announced plans to shift most of his country's warships to the Asia-Pacific by 2020.
"At present, the grand trend and broad aspiration of the Asia-Pacific region is towards seeking peace, fostering cooperation and encouraging development," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in answer to a question about the US announcement.
"All sides should strive to preserve and promote regional peace, stability and development. The approach of artificially stressing military security, enhancing military deployments and strengthening military alliances is out of keeping with the times," he said at a daily news briefing.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Saturday the Pentagon would reposition its naval fleet so that 60 percent of its battleships would be in the Asia-Pacific by the end of the decade, up from about 50 percent now.
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