News / Asia

Biden Meets With Chinese President, No Public Mention of ADIZ

US China Meet on Cooperation, Dialoguei
December 04, 2013 5:46 PM
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met Wednesday in Beijing, but neither publicly commented on China's new air defense zone, or ADIZ, which has raised tensions in the region. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Related video report by Jeff Custer
The United States and China are talking about the need for cooperation and dialogue as visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and China's president, Xi Jinping meet in the Chinese capital. 

In a careful diplomatic dance, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice President Joe Biden spoke openly about the challenges the two countries face in building a stronger relationship and trust. 

But the two did not specifically mention China's recent, controversial decision to create an air defense identification zone that has loomed over Biden's trip to Asia.

In a brief encounter with reporters before their meeting, President Xi spoke about the need for the United States and China, with two of the world's biggest economies, to cooperate and address a growing range of profound and complex challenges.

Xi said the global economy had gone into a period of deep adjustment.  He said regional hotspots kept popping up, as well as more pronounced global challenges such as climate change and energy security.  The world was not a tranquil place, he added.

President Xi said China was willing and ready to work together with the United States to build a new model of great power relations.  He also stressed the need for each side to respect each other's core interests and major concerns - a phrase that is frequently used to refer to interests such as China's territorial claims.

Vice President Biden said the thing that impressed him about China's new leader was his candid and constructive approach to developing a new relationship with Washington.  Biden said both qualities were sorely needed in the relationship.

"The way I was raised was to believe that change presents opportunity.  Opportunity on regional security, on a global level, opportunity on climate change and energy and a whole range of issues that the world needs to see change in the next decade or so," he said.

Air defense zones claimed by China and JapanAir defense zones claimed by China and Japan
Air defense zones claimed by China and Japan
Air defense zones claimed by China and Japan
China's decision to declare a new air defense identification zone off its northeastern coast is but one of many challenges the two sides are facing in forging that new relationship.  Some, such as Beijing Foreign Studies University political scientist Xie Tao, believed the way the policy was unveiled was a mistake.

"If China really wants to build up a new model of great power relations, this is the last thing to do to build up a great power relationship.  I think it is not controversial at all for China to establish this ADIZ.  However, I think that international relations scholars and commentators both in China and outside of China agree that the timing and scope of the ADIZ are too controversial," he said.

During Biden's first stop in Asia, the issue dominated discussions in Tokyo.  While there, the vice president talked about the strength of Washington's close alliance with Japan and voiced deep U.S. concern about the air zone.

He also promised to raise the issue "in great specificity" during his visits with Chinese leaders, including President Xi.

Biden has also suggested both sides establish "confidence-building measures, including emergency communications channels," to help reduce tensions.  China said that it was willing to discuss the issue with Japan, but certain countries were overreacting to its decision and distorting the move.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that China established the zone to safeguard its national security and did so in line with national laws.  He said the United States and Japan should regard this in an objective way and that it was is not China that has changed the status quo, but Japan.

City University of Hong Kong political science professor Joseph Cheng said Biden was trying to maintain a difficult balance by providing assurances to Washington's long-term ally Japan, while also stressing the importance of U.S.-China relations.  He said the United States would like to act as a mediator between the two countries.

"A quiet mediating role is definitely welcomed and I do believe that the Vice President will act along these lines at this stage.  A formal mediating role may be a little bit difficult because traditionally Chinese authorities do not want to involve a third country, especially a major power in a bilateral dispute," he said.

Further dialogue could also be complicated by Japan's refusal to formally recognize a territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea, something it views as a weakening of its position.

Joseph Cheng said that while all parties understood the dangers of war and the risks that escalating tensions pose, domestic pressures made it difficult for China and Japan to compromise.

"Obviously, on the part of China and Japan, both governments are very much under the pressure of domestic nationalism and their leaders do not want to be seen as being weak in dealing with each other," he said.

In recent days, China has made efforts to ease tensions over the zone.  On the eve of Biden's arrival, the Defense Ministry released a statement stressing the area is not a no-fly zone nor is it a sign that China is expanding its territorial airspace.  The statement said surveillance in the area remains necessary, but the use of fighter jets would not be necessary in most cases.

After visiting China on Wednesday, Biden will head to South Korea Thursday, which has also been angered by China's declared air defense zone.  He is expected to meet with President Park Geun-hye and visit the demilitarized zone with the North before returning to Washington.

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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
December 07, 2013 12:14 PM
China is a friendly country and she doesn't want to invade any other countries like Japan. China is just want to take back what she owned and that was judged after War II by Potsdam Declaration. The island, called Diaoyu by Chinese, was belong to China before Japanese snatched it. We have the right to take it back. Who did give the right to an evil & criminal country to re-own the island ?

by: qfhk from: Canada
December 05, 2013 8:30 AM
Americans have made Muslims their enemies. Have they ever learnt ?

by: Kerry from: USA
December 04, 2013 12:48 PM
All the glad-handing, smiles, and photo-ops will accomplish, NOTHING. It's all STATE RUN PROPAGANDA. MIND CONTROL AND PYSOPS. EVERYTHING IS OK.

by: van from: vn
December 04, 2013 10:58 AM
as far as i know, the purpose of china to set up ADIZ is sending a message to the US :"hey, US, this is my area, you must go away. i don't want to see you here".

by: JL from: USA
December 04, 2013 10:35 AM
Why should we support Jap? They killed so many Americans years ago, and will do it again...
In Response

by: Rusty from: S.C.
December 06, 2013 8:56 PM
One thing is for sure," You have never lived there, and know nothing about the people. If I had to leave my country, Japan is where I would go. Spent 14 years there as a teen, and Marine and fell in love with the people. Miss it very much, would love to return one day. But at 70 years old, I don't see that coming around.
In Response

by: qfhk from: Canada
December 05, 2013 8:45 PM
".. do not underestimate theJapanese military" Hoang has hit the nail in the head. The US is playing the wrong card. The present hawkish Japanese government has the wildest ambition. Japan wants to fulfill their pre-1945 dream.
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
December 05, 2013 7:15 AM
That is the past. Japan is now a democratic, humane country. They have contributed money to poor countries. China is the evil country in the world now and does nothing to help mankind. China offered to pay $100, 000 to Phillipines after hurricane, Haiyan.
But do not underestimate theJapanese military. If China push Japan, China will pay for the consequences. The rest of Asia , Vietnam, Phillipines will support Japan except Taiwan and perhaps Korea. Asia cannot depend on U.S. or Europe for support against China. They only care about trade with China for short term financial gain.

by: van from: vn
December 04, 2013 9:51 AM
Biden's visit is not good as expected. China doesnot want to talk about ADIZ. China is so fox-like, cunning . the US must be clear and determined about this.we don't want war but we should be ready for it because someone (china) around us is considering us nothing. I am very upset with England, france, italy.....why do they keep silent on this. They clearly see china doing wrong but they still ignore . are they human and sympathetic? the world must support japan.
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 04, 2013 11:57 PM
I understand your position worrying about unilateral setting of another ADIZ by China in the South China Sea over your ASEAN's own territories. I am the last person to believe China is not such a rude country. Chinese central government has no ear to opponent's opinion once it has decided and conducted something. They never change their stances and never apology even if it is disclosed they are wrong from every standpoints. Disappointingly, it seems the proper reason China could not become a first-class country respected by other countries independently with no need to luring with money and funding.
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 04, 2013 12:45 PM
Has America Really conquered any country in the world? Wars have brought so many homeless and death to the middle east and other places in the world. What war do you want to trigger again?
In Response

by: Entou from: nw
December 04, 2013 11:38 AM
Your comment if full of prejudice and arrogance. Why Japan could buy the island under dispute? Why Japan and USA could have ADIZ without any discussion with China? The other countries keep silent since they clearly think that China's activity is reasonable.
In Response

by: ynzyld from: yn
December 04, 2013 10:22 AM
don't be so nervous,air defense indentification zoneis not non fly zone.what you need to do is just to submit your flying plans.
In Response

by: Anonymous
December 04, 2013 10:18 AM
China is a friendly country

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