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.
    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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    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 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.