News / Asia

China Air Defense Zone Hangs Over VP Biden’s Visit

Computer screens display a map showing the outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, in Beijing Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.Computer screens display a map showing the outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, in Beijing Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.
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Computer screens display a map showing the outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, in Beijing Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.
Computer screens display a map showing the outline of China's new air defense zone in the East China on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, in Beijing Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.
William Ide
— U.S. Vice President Joe Biden travels to China next week as part of a regional tour that includes stops in South Korea and Japan. While the trip to Beijing was expected to focus on economic issues and other areas of cooperation, analysts say China's controversial new air defense zone in the East China Sea is likely to be a major topic.
 
Senior U.S. administration officials say Biden will directly raise the issue of the newly established air defense zone and seek to lower tensions, but will not be delivering a formal diplomatic protest over Beijing’s decision.
 
They say the trip will be an opportunity to speak directly with leaders in China about the decision, to voice Washington’s concerns and seek clarity about why Beijing made the move.
 
Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. says the development means less time to address other issues during the trip. He says the air defense zone will not only be discussed in Beijing, but in Tokyo, and Seoul as well.
 
“If he went initially on a mission in part to really understand better understand the policies emanating from the third plenum I am very confident that this will now get interjected into these conversations in a more direct way, which I can’t believe is what China would have wished to see," said Pollack.
 
China’s neighbors have strongly protested the decision to establish the zone in the East China Sea and militaries from the U.S., Japan and South Korea have flown flights through the zone without notifying Chinese authorities. China has warned that flights that enter the zone that fail to identify themselves could face military action.
 
In response, Beijing has begun its own patrol flights into the zone. Both Japan and South Korea say they are considering expanding their own air defense zones.
 
Pollack says that behind the rhetoric, the real concern is how the Chinese military implements its establishment of the zone.
 
“That’s when you enter into the realm of the potential for incidents and accidents," he said. "I don’t think anyone here seeks a conflict, but things happen, particularly when an air force such as China’s is relatively new to these kinds of activities, has very very little practical experience in the conduct of any kind of potential operations.”
 
China and the United States began a new effort earlier this year to redefine their relationship as one between major powers. Biden’s visit will seek to build on the informal exchange that occurred earlier this year between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama in California.
 
Jin Canrong, a political scientist at Beijing’s Renmin University says that while Biden’s visit is likely to touch on China’s tensions with neighboring countries and the air defense zone, the most important issue will be overall U.S.-China relations.
 
Jin says the U.S. is very nervous about the possibility that China may get into conflicts with its neighbors and America’s allies in the region. He says while it is difficult to say how much time will be devoted to the issue, he believes that Biden’s main focus will remain on strengthening U.S.-China relations and improving bilateral ties.
 
Biden departs for Japan on Sunday and his trip will take him to Beijing and Seoul before he returns to Washington on Saturday. In Beijing,  Biden will hold bilateral talks with China’s top leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
 
In Japan, he will have a working dinner with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as meet with lawmakers. While in Seoul, Biden will receive a briefing on security on the Korean peninsula and deliver a speech at Yonsei University that will focus on the U.S. South Korea relationship as well as Washington’s approach to the region.

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by: Alex from: Korea
December 03, 2013 2:46 AM
Dose any body remenber WWII ? The Diaoyu Island belongs to China before WWII , Janpan start WWII , and killed many people , include many Chinese ,many American ,many Korean , and many other foreigners ,after nearly 8 years , we defeated janpanese fascists , but the island was took over control by American , and the American gave it to Janpan after years , and now , China want to take the island back , because it belongs to China , Janpan is an evil country , Germany had apologized for world war II , however japanese officials always visits to ancient shrines honoring wartime heroes which contain ghosts of war criminal in WWII , they respect war criminal , they want to start war again , dose any body want to be killed by janpanese ? please support janpan ! support the evil !


by: David Justice
December 01, 2013 10:24 AM
America stirs the bubbling pot. How will it taste, we wonder?
http://worldofdrjustice.blogspot.com/2013/12/sky-wars.html


by: Anthony1223 from: u.s.
December 01, 2013 3:12 AM
Without fair and justice expect no good result.

What is the difference between the rules of the Japanese and Chinese ADIZ? None, except that Japan had it for 44 years already and China is now playing the game with the same rules as the Japanese.


by: charles from: missouri
November 30, 2013 5:00 PM
China has started showing the world power, I wish bush is still in power , i trust Republican in this Issue .


by: Nguyễn from: US
November 30, 2013 10:39 AM
VP Biden would tell China not to underestimate American "quick draws " in the airspace from Tombstone, Arizona.


by: Samurai from: Japan
November 30, 2013 12:40 AM
USA should take a severe and firm principle against China. USA's indefinate attitude toward China so far has spoiled Chinese. All USA's allied countries are watching whether or not USA is still a trustworthy country. If this is not the case, we Japanese have to alter our constitution and expand our military in order to defend our country by ourselves.


by: Anonymous
November 29, 2013 10:34 PM
The below is wrong. China is a civilized country. The west civilization is also from China. China is just doing the things what some other countries have done. Japan is just USA's follower. The Asia's business has nothing with USA. It looks like world cop, no one cares.


by: u from: moonbase 1
November 29, 2013 7:35 PM
this distracts from all the domestic troubles at home in all the nations involved. escalate it and nuclear weapons come into play.


by: RS from: France
November 29, 2013 3:07 PM
Does China want to start a WWIII? If it wasn't for the West, China would still be a poor backward Third World country. How arrogant and ignorant, now that they have 2 cents in their pockets, to defy the world? In any case, whatever step you decide to take, you loose. So live in peace with your neighbours or loose face.


by: NKUITO BK from: KENYA
November 29, 2013 2:33 PM
It's very dangerous especialy because this countries have neuclear power.Something must be done before it escalates and become war which may lead to WW|||.

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