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.
x
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.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Senkaku ONLY from: Senkaku Islands
November 29, 2013 9:51 AM
China declares this zone, and all the Big Boys like USA, Japan and South Korea put China back in its place. Meanwhile, the rest of the world laughs at China. With weakness like this, how long before Taiwan cuts the cord and goes its own way? Well, at least Russia obeys China's no-fly zone.

     

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
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.


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