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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid