News / Asia

    US, China Emphasize Cooperation, Dialogue Amid Defense Zone Dispute

    Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec. 4, 2013.
    Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec. 4, 2013.
    The United States and China are talking about the need for cooperation and dialogue as visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and China's president, Xi Jinping met in the Chinese capital. Among other issues, the two discussed the dispute over China's declaration of an air defense zone over islands administered by Japan. When they met with journalists, though, neither Biden nor Xi brought up the matter.

    In a careful diplomatic dance, Xi and Biden talked openly about the challenges the two countries face in building a stronger relationship and trust. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, the two did not specifically mention China's recent, controversial decision to create an air defense identification zone that has loomed over Biden's trip to Asia.

    U.S. officials say Biden expressed Washington's concerns over China's new air defense identification zone, or ADIZ, during talks with Xi. The officials told reporters the vice president indicated the U.S. does not recognize the zone, while Xi laid out China's view on the matter.

    In a brief encounter with reporters before their meeting, Xi spoke about the need for the United States and China, with two of the world's biggest economies, to cooperate and address a growing range of profound and complex challenges.

    Air defense zones claimed by China and JapanAir defense zones claimed by China and Japan
    x
    Air defense zones claimed by China and Japan
    Air defense zones claimed by China and Japan
    Xi said the global economy has gone into a period of deep adjustment.

    "The world economy has gone into a period of in-depth adjustment," he said. "Regional hotspot issues keep popping up, and there are more pronounced global challenges, such as climate change and energy security. The world is not tranquil.”

    Xi said China is willing and ready to work together with the United States to build a new model of great power relations. He also stressed the need for each side to respect each other's core interests and major concerns - a phrase that frequently is used to refer to interests such as China's territorial claims.

    Biden said the thing that impresses him about China's new leader is his candid and constructive approach to developing a new relationship with Washington. Biden said both qualities are sorely needed in the relationship.

    "The way I was raised was to believe that change presents opportunity," he said. "Opportunity on regional security, on a global level, opportunity on climate change and energy, and a whole range of issues that the world needs to see change in the next decade or so."

    China's decision to declare a new air defense identification zone off its northeastern coast is but one of many challenges the two sides are facing in forging that new relationship. Some, such as Beijing Foreign Studies University political scientist Xie Tao, believe the way the policy was unveiled was a mistake.

    "If China really wants to build up a new model of great power relations, this is the last thing to do to build up a great power relationship. I think it is not controversial at all for China to establish this ADIZ," said Xie. "However, I think that international relations scholars and commentators both in China and outside of China agree that the timing and scope of the ADIZ are too controversial."

    During Biden's first stop in Asia, the issue dominated discussions in Tokyo. While there, the vice president talked about the strength of Washington's close alliance with Japan and voiced deep U.S. concern about the air zone.

    He promised to raise the issue "in great specificity" during his visits with Chinese leaders, including Xi.

    Biden also has suggested that both sides establish "confidence-building measures, including emergency communications channels," to help reduce tensions. China says it is willing to discuss the issue with Japan, but asserts that certain countries are overreacting to its decision and are distorting the move.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China established the zone to safeguard its national security and did so in line with national laws. He said the United States and Japan should regard this in an objective way and that it is not China that has changed the status quo, but Japan.

    “China’s establishment of the ADIZ is to safeguard China’s national security. It is in line with national law," he said. "Japan and the U.S. should regard this in an objective way. It is not China that has changed the status quo. It is Japan.”

    City University of Hong Kong political science professor Joseph Cheng said Biden is trying to maintain a difficult balance by providing assurances to Washington's long-term ally Japan, while also stressing the importance of U.S.-China relations. He said the United States would like to act as a mediator between the two countries.

    "A quiet mediating role is definitely welcomed, and I do believe that the vice president will act along these lines at this stage," he said. "A formal mediating role may be a little bit difficult because traditionally Chinese authorities do not want to involve a third country, especially a major power in a bilateral dispute."

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

    Cheng said that while all parties understand the dangers of war and the risks that escalating tensions pose, domestic pressures make it difficult for China and Japan to compromise.

    "Obviously, on the part of China and Japan, both governments are very much under the pressure of domestic nationalism, and their leaders do not want to be seen as being weak in dealing with each other," he said.

    In recent days, China has made efforts to ease tensions over the zone. On the eve of Biden's arrival, the Defense Ministry released a statement stressing the area is not a no-fly zone, nor is it a sign that China is expanding its territorial airspace. The statement said surveillance in the area remains necessary, but the use of fighter jets would not be necessary in most cases.

    After visiting China on Wednesday, Biden will head to South Korea on Thursday, which also has been angered by China's declared air defense zone. He is expected to meet with President Park Geun-hye and visit the demilitarized zone with the North before returning to Washington.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: jimbar from: philippines
    December 04, 2013 9:25 PM
    American leadership dangerously kowtow to Chinese whims and caprices, consequently emboldened the communist state to further push through with their hegemonic control and expansion in the large area of East Asia.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora