US must 'respect' China's legitimate concerns in Asia-Pacific region
Beijing on Thursday urged Washington to respect China's interests in the Asia-Pacific region as US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta vowed, on the eve of his Asia trip, that the US will increase its military presence.
Although the US has insisted that its strategic shift to the region is not targeted at China, experts said Washington's deeds, including its plan to highlight the South China Sea issue at an annual regional security meeting at the weekend, exposed its true intentions.
They also reminded US officials to choose their words carefully to avoid denting Beijing's trust.
Asked about Panetta's Asian trip, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a news briefing on Thursday that China hoped the US would "play a positive and constructive role in the region''.
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