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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid