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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs