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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.