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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora