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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid