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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


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