News / Asia

Biden Visits China Amid Anxiety Over Taiwan Arms Sale

Economics Also Tops Vice President's Agenda

US Vice President Joe Biden (file photo)
US Vice President Joe Biden (file photo)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives in China Wednesday amid rising anxiety on both sides of the Taiwan Strait over the prospect of new U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

U.S. officials have stressed that Biden wants to use the four-day visit to deliver assurances about the U.S. financial system and to build ties to the next generation of Chinese leaders.

Dean Cheng, research fellow for the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, says little is really known about Joe Biden's counterpart, Xi Jinping. He told VOA's Les Carpenter it's not likely he will take some policy initiatives during his meetings with the U.S. vice president.

But both Chinese and Taiwan press reports note his arrival falls on the anniversary of a landmark 1982 communique in which the United States promised, among other things, to gradually scale back its arms sales to Taiwan.

China's Global Times, a Communist Party-affiliated newspaper, said Thursday that Beijing officials are likely to pressure Biden over a pending decision whether to sell advanced F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. America's last major arms sale to Taiwan led to a year-long freeze in military links with China.

U.S. officials say Biden has no plans to bring up the Taiwan issue while in China. And Taipei's official news agency Thursday quoted Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou as saying the Americans have promised that Biden will not consult with China on the issue.

However, press reports have suggested the United States will turn down the Taiwan request and offer to upgrade its existing fleet of F-16s instead. U.S. law obliges Washington to provide Taiwan with adequate arms for defense.

Biden is visiting Beijing at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart,  Xi Jinping, who is in line to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2013. They will also travel together to the southwestern city of Chengdu, where Biden will deliver a major policy speech.

Their meeting is the first in a series of visits announced during Mr. Hu's visit to Washington in January.
Biden is expected to meet Mr. Hu and other top Chinese officials, with economic issues at the top of the agenda.

China is the world's second largest economy and the biggest foreign creditor of the United States.  Chinese officials have expressed concern about the recent deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, saying it did not do enough to trim the U.S. deficit.

The Obama administration says China has its own economic problems, which include an aging work force and the need to move away from an export-driven economy. The United States also wants China to let its currency rise against the dollar.

Mr. Biden is also under pressure from human rights groups to press Chinese leaders on their recent crackdown on dissenters.  

From China, Biden will travel to Mongolia to show support for that country's democratic system and highlight growing economic ties.

He will also stop in Tokyo for meetings with Japanese leaders, followed by a visit to the earthquake-devastated city of Sendai.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid