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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs