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Biden Heading to Asia Amid New Tensions with China

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is on a six-day visit to Asia at a time of increased tensions with China over a just-declared air defense zone.

Biden begins his trip Monday in Japan and will also visit China and South Korea. The White House says his visit is aimed at reaffirming the U.S. as a Pacific power, promoting economic and trade interests, and its commitment to rebalancing U.S. foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific.

Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. The White House says Biden will seek to advance the high-level engagement that is the hallmark of U.S.-Chinese relations.

But it says Biden will also discuss what it calls areas of concern, including regional tensions.

Last month, China declared an air defense zone in the Pacific over islands claimed by both China and Japan.

China is demanding all planes submit flight plans before crossing the zone. Japan is refusing to comply.

The United States has already flown military jets across the zone ignoring China's demand, but is recommending U.S. commercial airliners inform the Chinese of their flight plans.

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