Mr. Hagel will visit Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines during the eight-day trip, with a meeting of defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next week serving as the capstone for his itinerary.
Mr. Hagel will begin his trip in Honolulu, where he will meet with Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, and visit with Marines at Kaneohe Bay, Defense Department spokesman George Little said.
The trip originally WAS announced by officials Tuesday as Mr. Hagel and Gen. Chang Wanquan, the Chinese defense minister, met at the Pentagon.
Both sides touted progress in U.S.-China military relations after the meeting. But Gen. Chang made clear that China would continue to staunchly defend its “core interests” and assert what it calls its “maritime rights” over disputed territory in the South China Sea.