News / Asia

Biden Rejects China's Air Defense Zone, Reaffirms Asia Pivot

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 6, 2013
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 6, 2013
Daniel Schearf
— U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has rejected China's self-declared Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, saying it raises tensions in the region and the possibility of miscalculation. Biden made the comments while in South Korea where he reaffirmed a U.S. plan to re-focus on the Asia Pacific and urged North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Friday made his strongest comments yet on China's sudden expansion of its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

Beijing in November declared its aviation security area in the East China Sea extended over islands disputed with Japan and a reef disputed with South Korea. China demanded that all aircraft intending to enter the zone first submit a flight plan and Chinese officials reserved the right to deny access.

China has dismissed calls by officials in Washington, Tokyo and Seoul to roll back the defense zone, which it calls legal and within its rights.

In a speech at South Korea's Yonsei University, Biden said China's actions risk the possibility of mistakes with profound consequences. “I was absolutely clear on behalf of my president: We do not recognize the zone. It will have no effect on American operations. None. Zero,” he stated.

The vice president's firm stance came a day after he expressed deep concerns on the zone to China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Biden, on a week-long trip in Asia, met in Japan earlier in the week with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who said the new security area would not be tolerated.

Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. defied Beijing's demands and flew military planes through the zone.

But while Washington suggested U.S. commercial airliners abide by Beijing's demand Seoul and Tokyo have completely refused.

South Korea went further by threatening to increase its own air defense ID zone, potentially escalating the tension.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Wi Yong-seob said the new zone would cover some neglected islands and an ocean research station on a reef it disputes with China.

He said as the defense minister said Thursday, they view it only appropriate to include the air zones of Hongdo, Marado and Ieodo for the purpose of operating the Air Defense Identification Zone.

It was not clear if Biden expressed any reservations about Seoul's plan. The vice president met Friday with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the two agreed to cooperate on the dispute with China.

Biden repeated a commitment to increase the U.S. presence in the Asia Pacific and called for international pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. "The simple fact is this - North Korea can never achieve security and prosperity so long as it pursues nuclear weapons," said Biden. "Period."

President Park called South Korea's relationship with the United States a linchpin of stability in Northeast Asia.

While in South Korea Biden will visit the Korean War memorial and the heavily-armed border with North Korea.

VOA Seoul Bureau producer Youmi Kim contributed to this report.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid