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US Sergeant Hagel meets his PLA counterparts

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (R) has lunch with students at the mess hall of the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy during a tour in Beijing on April 9, 2014Over kung pao chicken and dumplings, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel recalled his days as an infantryman in Vietnam Wednesday with young Chinese soldiers at a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) training academy. The atmosphere was friendly and conversation light, in stark contrast to the rough reception Hagel received Tuesday from top Chinese officials and a roomful of PLA colonels who peppered him with tough questions. The general told Hagel that China was “dissatisfied” with his remarks about Beijing’s territorial disputes with Japan and other countries, state news agency Xinhua reported. But at the NCO training academy in a northwestern suburb of Beijing, Hagel faced no grilling over US foreign policy, and instead watched soldiers in combat fatigues drive bulldozers and backhoes in a precision display.

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