Sino-US tension eases in runup to talks

Updated: 2015-06-19 08:28

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

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Timeline: Growing US involvement in the South China Sea and regional confrontation with China

· Oct 2011

The Obama administration announced the US needed to make a "pivot" in its foreign policy away from Iraq and Afghanistan to Asia.

· June 2012

The US intended to reposition its naval forces so that 60 percent would be in the Pacific by 2020, then-US defense secretary Leon Panetta said at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

· Sept 2012

Then-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton urged Southeast Asian nations to present a united front to China in dealing with territorial disputes in the South China Sea to "calm the waters".

· Dec 2013

The US Pacific Fleet said the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship that was escorting China's sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in the South China Sea.

· April 2014

The US and the Philippines signed a 10-year defense agreement that gave US forces temporary access to selected military camps and allowed them to pre-position fighter jets and ships.

· May 2014

Then-US defense secretary Chuck Hagel used unusually strong language at the Shangri-La Dialogue to accuse China of destabilizing the region. A top Chinese general retorted that Hagel's comments amounted to "threat and intimidation".

· May 2015

CNN aired a dramatic recording of China warning a US navy P-8A Poseidon spy plane not to fly over the fringes of the Nan-sha Islands. The pilot challenged China by ignoring the order.

· June 2015

Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission Fan Changlong visited the US. During talks with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at the Pentagon, Fan urged the US military to reduce its naval and air activities in the South China Sea, and stick to its stand of not taking sides on the territorial disputes there.

The Foreign Ministry announced China soon will complete its land reclamation projects on some islands and reefs in the Nansha Islands.


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