News / Asia

Biden: Conflict With China Not Inevitable

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) chats with Chinese Vice Premier Li Yuanchao before their luncheon at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Dec. 5, 2013.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) chats with Chinese Vice Premier Li Yuanchao before their luncheon at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Dec. 5, 2013.
William Ide
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says that while Washington's relationship with Beijing is complex and the two countries have real differences, conflict is not inevitable. Biden made his those remarks Thursday on the last day of his stopover in Beijing on a three-nation tour to Asia.

Biden's trip to Asia has been overshadowed by concerns about China's recent establishment of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea that includes territory also claimed by Japan.

Computer screens display map showing outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China Sea, website of Chinese Ministry of Defense, Beijing, Nov. 26, 2013.Computer screens display map showing outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China Sea, website of Chinese Ministry of Defense, Beijing, Nov. 26, 2013.
x
Computer screens display map showing outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China Sea, website of Chinese Ministry of Defense, Beijing, Nov. 26, 2013.
Computer screens display map showing outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China Sea, website of Chinese Ministry of Defense, Beijing, Nov. 26, 2013.
China says the zone was established to safeguard the country's national security and that it will not affect freedom of aviation in the area. So far, China has not interfered with flights in the zone, but it has scrambled fighter jets to the area, heightening concerns about a possible miscalculation in the air.

The U.S., Japan, and South Korea have all sent military planes to the region in recent days, defying China's demand that they notify Beijing beforehand.

The zone was one of several key issues Biden discussed in more than five hours of meetings Wednesday with China's President Xi Jinping.

Although the vice president refrained from speaking out on the issue publicly prior to that meeting,  he touched on it during an address Thursday to a group of business leaders in Beijing.

“China's recent and sudden announcement of the establishment of a new air defense identification zone has, to state the obvious, caused significant apprehension in the region. And I was very direct about our firm position and our expectations in my conversations with President Xi," he said.

Biden also noted that differences between the U.S. and China go far beyond security issues.

"We've had many disagreements, and some profound disagreements on some of those issues right now, the treatment of U.S. journalists, but I believe China will be stronger and more stable and more innovative if it respects universal human rights," he said.

Forging a new relationship

But, the vice president added that while the relationship is complex and differences real, conflict with China is not inevitable. He says that the United States and China are working to forge a new relationship between major powers that is defined by constructive cooperation.

“Wholesome competition and strong competition is fundamentally different than conflict. In fact, we see considerable common interest on the security side. A secure and peaceful Asia Pacific enables economic growth for the entire region," he said.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
During his trip to Asia, Biden has been urging China to take steps to reduce tensions over the zone.  On his first stop in Japan, he suggested establishing "confidence building measures, including emergency communications channels.”

When asked what China thought of Biden’s suggestions, however, a Foreign Ministry spokesman noted Thursday that during meetings with Chinese leaders both countries agreed that they should enhance dialogue and communication. The spokesman urged Washington to respect China’s establishment of the zone, which it says was done in line with international laws and conventions.

After visiting China, Biden travels next to South Korea, which has also expressed reservations about the ADIZ. Seoul is the last stop on his Asian tour.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Will from: Texas
December 06, 2013 9:10 AM
I Feel We Should JUst Stick All Our Noses Down Stay I OUr Country And Start Takin Of Our Own Countries Problems. That's What ThE Four Fathers Wanted. I Personally Am Open To Cultural Differences And Embrace Them That's What Makes Life So Beautiful Change Itself.

by: Paul from: Hubei China
December 05, 2013 7:00 PM
The so called air defense noticication zone is just a farce used to divert people's attention both inside and outside China. What the Americans need to do is just paying no attention to it. Let them be busy flying fighter jets if they like to do it. Internationa aviation will never be affected because the Chinese air force does not have the guts to shot down any plane in international skies. I think one thing Mr. Biden might have done that may make the Chinese authorities unconfortable is to hammer away on its human rights issue. You see, VOA's "Global Live has been blocked since October. If Mr. Biden had mentioned this issue when he met Xi jingping, it would have given him a big embarrassment and might have solved the problem.

by: harold
December 05, 2013 1:12 PM
The US and China will be rivals, but we, and they, would be stupid to become enemies.

by: charlie from: Califoria
December 05, 2013 12:59 PM
Either Biden's phraseology leaves a lot to be desired or your headline writers. But if Biden KNOWS we WILL be dragged into conflict if Japan and China come to blows, then we don't want to surprise the Chinese after the fact when it would be too late to save face. Better to be clear about it than cloud it up with tact and smiles. But as the son a Pacific War vet I think it would be bad to dragged into a war with China to support Japan's claims to those islands that should have been given to Peking in 45 when Russia got islands north of Japan. China earned them. But if Obama is "standing tall"on this one the next president will probably continue this. Adjusting to new world dynamics means exactly that, adjusting, Are our promises of military support given decades ago eternal in nature? Are our pacts made against the Soviets going to be the dead hand of history weighing us down in a new world without the USSR?
In Response

by: jack delphy from: UK
December 08, 2013 4:46 AM
Don't the people in the US have enough to worry about, a stagnant economy, high unemployment, two pointless wars and at least 2 undeclared wars, a national debt that is unpayable, a jesters in the capitol while policy is made elsewhere. The US should stop meddling in asian affairs and concentrate its efforts at home

by: Zvetlanna Samaruk from: Ukraine
December 05, 2013 10:46 AM
and in S. Korea Bidon is badmouthing the Chinese stinking corruption and posturing... this Obama administration has not only lost all American credibility in the world but is in danger of becoming anti-American...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs