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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
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.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid