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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid