US warns over Beijingâ€™s â€˜assertivenessâ€™ By Kathrin Hille in Beijing Published: May 25 2010 17:50 | Last updated: May 25 2010 23:59 The commander of US forces in the Pacific has warned that Chinaâ€™s military is more aggressively asserting its territorial claims in regional waters. Admiral Robert Willard told the Financial Times: â€œThere has been an assertiveness that has been growing over time, particularly in the South China Sea and in the East China Sea.â€ EDITORâ€™S CHOICE China and US seek to strike conciliatory note - May-24 US to press China on business - May-20 China to hit US chicken with new tariffs - Apr-28 Timeline: China-US trade spats - May-18 Insight: Other states can fill gapâ€‰between US and China - Apr-27 Opinion: China revaluation will not cure imbalance - Apr-11 He said Chinaâ€™s extensive claims to islands and waters in the region were â€œgenerating increasing concern broadly across the region and require addressâ€. The admiralâ€™s remarks follow complaints by Japan in recent weeks about aggressive behaviour from a Chinese coastguard vessel in contested waters and a Chinese military helicopter in international waters. Some of Chinaâ€™s neighbours have been watching the Peopleâ€™s Liberation Armyâ€™s modernisation and efforts at expanding the navyâ€™s reach with unease, and defence experts see this expansion as one factor behind a developing arms race in south-east Asia. Adm Willard said the US viewed Chinaâ€™s growing influence in Asia as positive. But Beijing needed to be more transparent, not only with the US but also with its neighbours. Adm Willard was speaking ahead of talks with Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the PLA, the first meeting between senior US and Chinese military officers since Beijing suspended bilateral military-to-military dialogue in January after US arms sales to Taiwan. â€œUS-China military dialogue is officially still in suspension,â€ said Adm Willard, who visited Beijing at the invitation of Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, in the context of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the bilateral exchanges that concluded on Tuesday. But he interpreted the fact that Beijing had agreed to his presence as a sign it viewed some high-level exchanges as beneficial. â€œWhat was very striking yesterday was my impression of the very advanced, sophisticated and mature dialogue thatâ€™s occurring across a wide range of subjects between China and the US,â€ he said. â€œThat is in contrast with a very immature military-to-military relationship.â€ Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.