US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday that United States will protect Philippines as laid out in US treaty obligations.
In a faceoff with Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, Hagel insist that China has no right to establish an air defense zone over disputed islands with no consultation.
“Every nation has a right to establish an air defense zone, but not a right to do it unilaterally with no collaboration, no consultation. That adds to tensions, misunderstandings, and could eventually add to, and eventually get to, dangerous conflict,” said Hagel, pointing his finger toward media cameras and photographers.
The meeting between two defense chief lasted two hours.