News / Asia

US Vice President Calls for Result-Oriented Cooperation With China

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (center, L) talks with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (center, R) after a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec. 4, 2013.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (center, L) talks with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (center, R) after a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec. 4, 2013.
William Ide
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says that as China and the United States work to create a new type of relationship, they need to expand their cooperation and deliver results. Biden's visit to Beijing this week comes as China faces criticism over a recent decision to create an air defense identification zone that includes territory also claimed by Japan.

In Tokyo, Vice President Biden talked about the strength of Washington's close alliance with Japan and voiced the United States' deep concern about China's recently declared air defense identification zone.

The issue was also a topic of discussion in Beijing. But Biden stressed efforts by Beijing and Washington to create a new relationship - one between major powers.

"This is a hugely consequential relationship that is going to affect the course of the 21st century and, like all complex relationships, Mr. Vice President, it calls for sustained, high-level engagement," he said.

Biden made those remarks prior to a closed door meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao. Li echoed that sentiment, but also stressed the need to respect each other's core interests and major concerns.

Biden has promised to raise the issue of the East China Sea air defense identification zone "in great specificity" during his visits with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping.

Biden has also suggested both sides establish "confidence building measures, including emergency communications channels," to help reduce tensions. China says that it is willing to discuss the issue with Japan, but also says certain countries are overreacting to its decision and distorting the move.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that China established the zone to safeguard its national security and did so in line with national laws. He says 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.

Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at the City University of Hong Kong, says that Biden is trying to maintain a difficult balance by providing assurances to its long term ally Japan, while also stressing the importance of U.S.-China relations. He says 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 [resident 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 could also be complicated by Japan's refusal to formally recognize a dispute over the islands, something it views as a weakening of its position.

Joseph Cheng says 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 rare statement stressing that the area is not a no-fly zone nor is it a sign that China is expanding its territorial airspace. The statement did say that while surveillance in the area remains necessary, the use of fighter jets would not be necessary in most cases.

However, some feel the move was a mistake for Beijing.

“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," said Xie Tao, a political scientist at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. "I think it is not controversial at all for China to establish this ADIZ. 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.”

After visiting China on Wednesday, Biden will head to South Korea Thursday, which has also 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.

William Gallo in Washington contributed to this report.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: David Grimwood from: Colorado
December 04, 2013 8:21 AM
Biden would have more clout if he had Dennis Rodman as his side-kick.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid