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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid