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Chuck Hagel Tours China’s First Aircraft Carrier

ChinaUSFlagsDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel kicked off his three-day visit to China on Monday with a tour of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning, Reuters reports.

Phil Stewart writes a U.S. official said that Hagel was the first foreign visitor to be allowed onboard the 60,000-ton warship.

“It’s a sign of openness, of sincerity, that China has nothing to hide and wants to improve military relations with the United States,” Ni Lexiong, a naval expert with the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, told Reuters.

“It will also be a good opportunity for the Americans to see the difference between the Liaoning and their aircraft carriers,” Lexiong added.

Hagel will meet with his Chinese counterpart and is expected to discuss issues such as cyber warfare and territorial disputes between China and neighboring countries, according to the article.

He held military talks in Japan during the weekend and attended a meeting of Southeast Asian defense officials in Hawaii last week.

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