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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More