News / Asia

Biden Discusses China Air Defense Zone in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with  U.S Vice President Joe Biden, left, as they pose for photos at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec. 4, 2013.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with U.S Vice President Joe Biden, left, as they pose for photos at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec. 4, 2013.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is in Beijing for talks that are expected to focus on China's controversial air defense zone, which includes islands that are also claimed by Washington's ally, Japan. He promised to raise the issue during his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other top leaders.
 
His one-day visit began at the U.S. Embassy, where he encouraged a group of Chinese visa applicants to "challenge the government."
 
"Innovation can only come when you can breathe free, challenge the government, challenge your teachers, challenge religious leaders," said Biden.
 
Following a later meeting with his counterpart, Li Yuanchao, Biden said the U.S.-China relationship was "hugely consequential" and "complex," and requires "sustained, high-level engagement."

Biden's Wednesday arrival in China comes a day after he met with Japanese leaders in Tokyo, where he said he was "deeply concerned" about the Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, in the East China Sea.

Speaking alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Biden promised to raise the issue "in great specificity" during his visits with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping.

He suggested both sides establish "confidence building measures, including emergency communications channels," to help reduce tensions.

Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at the City University of Hong Kong, told VOA that such measures could be welcomed by both sides.

"Some kind of hotline is definitely possible. I think all parties concerned welcome this. And further discussions on confidence building measures are to be welcomed. Ideally, there should be some sort of code of conduct along the lines of that concluded between China and ASEAN," said Cheng.

However, Cheng does not expect Biden to take on a formal mediating role, since China has been reluctant to involve outside powers in what it views as bilateral territorial disputes.

Further dialogue could also be complicated by Japan's refusal to formally recognize a dispute over the islands, something it views as a weakening of its position.

Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, told VOA that Biden finds himself in a tough position.

"It is quite difficult for Vice President Biden in this particular heightened, tense atmosphere, to try and urge the two sides to resume political dialogue and particularly to talk about confidence building measures between the two militaries," said Glaser.

China set up its Air Defense Identification Zone late last month. Beijing has requested that all airplanes submit flight plans ahead of flying through the zone.

The U.S. has repeatedly rejected the legitimacy of the Chinese zone. Last week, it flew two unarmed B-52 bombers on a "routine" training mission through the area, ignoring Chinese demands the aircraft identify themselves.

While Beijing said it monitored the B-52 flights, it did not interfere. Later, however, it did scramble fighter jets to the area, heightening concerns about a possible miscalculation in the air.

Ahead of Biden's arrival, China's Defense Ministry said its determination to defend the zone is "unwavering, and the military is fully capable of exercising effective control," over the area.

The state-controlled China Daily newspaper also warned in an editorial Wednesday that Biden "should not expect any substantial headway if he comes [to China] simply to repeat his government's previous erroneous and one-sided remarks."

After visiting China on Wednesday, Biden will head to South Korea on Thursday, which has also been angered by China's declared air defense zone.

He is expected to meet with President Park Geun-hye and visit the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas before returning to Washington.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid