News / Asia

Biden: US 'Deeply Concerned' About China's Air Defense Zone

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the end of their joint news conference following their meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Dec. 3, 2013. Biden urged Japan and China to lower
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the end of their joint news conference following their meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Dec. 3, 2013. Biden urged Japan and China to lower
Daniel Schearf
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe say China's declared air defense zone in the East China Sea is intolerable and raises the risk of miscalculation leading to conflict. Beijing's unilateral move upset its neighbors as the zone overlaps disputed territory. 

Biden on Tuesday met with Japanese officials, including Abe, at the start of a week-long visit to Asia.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
The long-scheduled trip to the region was supposed to center on an increased U.S. focus on Asia and efforts to negotiate a trans-Pacific trade agreement.  But, Beijing's declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in November set off alarm bells in Washington, Tokyo, and Seoul.

China says any aircraft wanting to fly through the expanded zone in the East China Sea must first submit a flight plan to Beijing.  China also reserves the right to deny entry to the airspace. But the zone overlaps international waters and territory administered by Japan and South Korea.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
At a joint news conference after their meeting, Biden said the U.S. was deeply concerned about a move to change status quo in the East China Sea.

“This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation,” the vice president said.

Biden said the risk of escalation is too high and underscores the need for crisis management mechanisms and effective channels of communication between China and Japan.

Abe echoed those concerns, saying they agreed China's actions should not be tolerated. He said they reaffirmed that policies and measures, including the operations of Japan's self defense and police forces would not change. Abe said Japan would work closely with the U.S. on the issue and agreed they would not condone any action that would threaten the safety of civilian aircraft.

Some Japanese media expressed alarm when Washington said U.S. commercial aircraft, for safety reasons, should abide by China's new rule.

Tokyo instructed its commercial carriers to ignore Beijing's declaration.  

Seoul plans to respond to China's overlapping defense zone by expanding its own zone.

China threatened unspecified defense measures for any aircraft that ignore the new rule while saying it would stop short of shooting down civilian airplanes.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (file photo)Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (file photo)
x
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (file photo)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei answers reporters' questions in Beijing, China (file photo)
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Biden's remarks were based on the vice president's understanding of the air defense zone.

He said China has suggested strengthening dialogue with Japan to properly resolve the issue of flight safety, but the Japanese side keeps saying they should hold dialogue while closing the door to talks.

Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington all flew military aircraft in the zone last week without informing Beijing.

The defense zone overlaps disputed islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.  Tokyo has administrative control over the small but strategically important islands, but Beijing frequently asserts its claim to the territory with coast guard and jet fighter patrols.  

China's declared zone also overlaps a South Korean research station built on top of a submerged rock formation.

Biden said he will raise the issue with China's President Xi Jinping after he arrives Wednesday in Beijing.

The vice president on Thursday travels to South Korea to discuss security concerns raised by China and North Korea.

China's aggressive moves to assert its claims to disputed territory periodically raise tensions in Asia.

China's ambassador to the Philippines on Monday said Beijing has the right to declare a similar aviation defense zone over the South China Sea.  China claims most of the South China Sea putting it in conflict with claims by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: james chen from: California, USA.
December 03, 2013 9:55 PM
Is Biden also going to visit Taiwan? (On the map, Taiwan is highlighted as dark blue too.)


by: Bobby from: Silicon Valley
December 03, 2013 6:25 PM
We must not have short memory about this matter. The whole dispute was initiated by Japan's unilateral move of annexing the disputed islands that is between the two nations. There were many better moves from the States to extinguish the dispute without invoking the "ally" subject. Somehow Washington thought by acting the brinksmanship is a better strategy of returning to the Asian Pacific region.

In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 03, 2013 11:59 PM
It would be correct that the disputed islands belonged to no countries including Taiwan at the end of nineteenth century, just noticed by local residents of three countries and drawn on their each maps. Japan first and officially declared the sovereignty of the islands around the end of the win of Chino-Japanese war without any claim from China. It means the border was determined at that time.


by: Mark from: Florida
December 03, 2013 2:39 PM
Samurai--When you said "The only way to cope with the problems is to fight back the gangster and teach him international laws, or at least ethics and manners that every human must have," what are you proposing? Send Chinese leadership a letter about ethics and manners? What does "fight back" mean--bomb China? What country should bomb China? Move an armada into Chinese waters? Which nation, and who pays the bill? Japan has very little military, so does that mean you want the U.S. to fund whatever "fighting back" you are proposing? Have you considered that China is the primary purchaser of the U.S. bonds that fund the entire U.S. budget?


by: JKF from: Great North (Canada)
December 03, 2013 2:09 PM
It is very unfortunate to once again see that the countries with power can make their own rules. I guess all the Japanese peaceniks will now confront the Chinese with their bare hands... A reversal of roles, before WWII Japan was the supreme Asiatic power, held the imperialist crown, and it was the Chinese that confronted the Japanese with their bare hands; now the imperialist crown goes to China, and no change in behaviour by those that have power.


by: OldRedNed from: Africa
December 03, 2013 9:37 AM
I suppose for the USA, this all comes down to the same question asked about Berlin. Then it was 'Would the USA go to war with the (then) USSR over Berlin? Now it may become 'Would the USA go to war with China over a few unoccupied Japanese islands?


by: keith from: Washington
December 03, 2013 9:23 AM
Will we allow China's expanded "defense" zone? Why YES. Why? 'Cause we owe them a gazillon dollars!


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 03, 2013 1:06 AM
It is apparent that Biden refered to Chinese proclaimed ADIZ taking account of Japanese position as its primary ally. He must be sure China would never agree to repeal its ADIZ following Japanese request at coming meeting. China could not help including disputed islands in its AIDZ because if not, it implys China abandons the islands admitting Japanese sovereignty. I am sure China is setting another ADIZ in South China sea invading ASEAN countries' territorial sea. I am also certain China would declare the moon is her territory after its spacecraft's soft landing.


by: Murphy125 from: Ok
December 02, 2013 11:52 PM
Am I the only one worried about this? This has all the makings of Vietnam written all over it. What if(I hope not) a plane of US origin gets shot down for not complying to the defense zone? Then what? Do we go to war? Think about it what is the only way to get American jobs and factories back on business. WAR


by: Anonymous from: China
December 02, 2013 10:07 PM
The recommendation of the US government is right in terms of the sake of passengers,but Chinese mouthpieces use this to hype the US' compliance


by: JCJ from: USA
December 02, 2013 5:30 PM
Territorial disputes such as these should be settled by placing the disputed territory under international control where neither party has sovereignty until they can peacefully work out their differences. Both China and Japan are significant powers and any conflict between the two will have significant global implications. An enforceable vote by the world community that forces the two to the negotiating table to peacefully settle their claims would be a good first step. Until they can work out their differences both will be denied any claims to the islands in dispute.
While this requires concerted and determined action by the world community it is far preferable to open hostilities leading to war between the two states.

In Response

by: MapleLeavesNation from: Canada
December 03, 2013 9:35 AM
It's funny that China has often be called out as the bad guy, or "gangster". But unfortunately the fact of the matter is quite the opposite, this recent brawl has all been started by Japan's unilateral actions of "buying the island". China has no choice but to react. btw, did Japan consult China when the Japanese version of the ADIZ was set up decades ago?

In Response

by: Samurai from: Japan
December 03, 2013 1:49 AM
@JCJ from USA, your proposal sounds like a good idea, but a too ideal. Problems lie in (1) there is no such a fair judging organization (even in UN, several big-power countries including China have power of veto) and (2) it is not reasonable to have such a talk with a gangster (China, in this case) who unilaterally invades other persons' premises and insists that it has belonged to him since ancient times. The only way to cope with the problems is to fight back the gangster and teach him international laws, or at least ethics and manners that every human must have.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid