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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.