U.S. can't get China to yield on contentious air zone
BEIJING — Giving no ground, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice President Joe Biden traded strong arguments on Wednesday over China's contentious new air defense zone, with no indication of progress toward defusing a situation that is raising anxieties across Asia and beyond.
Though Biden made clear the deep concern of the United States and other countries during the 5 ½ hours of talks — highly unusual for an American vice president and Chinese president — Xi vigorously made his case, too, for China's declaration of new rules concerning a strip of airspace more than 600 miles long above disputed islands in the East China Sea.
The United States worries that China's demand that pilots entering the airspace file flight plans with Beijing could lead to an accident or a confrontation. Now it is up to the Chinese to take steps to lower tensions, and “it's a question of behavior and action,” said a U.S. official, who briefed reporters on the private talks.
The official was not authorized to be quoted by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Though Biden expressed no disappointment in public remarks, the outcome of his visit was not what the United States might have hoped for.
A day earlier, the vice president had stood shoulder to shoulder in Tokyo with the leader of Japan, China's regional rival, pledging to raise Washington's concerns with Xi directly.
But as he arrived in Beijing, an editorial in the state-run China Daily charged Washington with “turning a blind eye to Tokyo's provocations,” warning that Biden would hit a dead end should he come “simply to repeat his government's previous erroneous and one-sided remarks.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called China's announcement of the zone “destabilizing” and complained that it had come “so unilaterally and so immediately without any consultation.”
“That's not a wise course of action to take for any country,” Hagel said at a Pentagon news conference.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Afghan president vows self-reliance for nation
- Saudi-led attacks seen as escalating violence in Yemen
- Copilot’s friends doubt Germanwings crash intentional
- Prosecutors: Evidence Germanwings co-pilot hid illness
- Proposed deal would allow Iran to run centrifuges, prohibit building bomb
- Prince Charles’ private letters to reveal views
- Controversial bishop’s appointment in Chile riles pope’s panel
- Germanwings co-pilot silent as he deliberately slammed plane into Alps
- King Richard III arrives at final resting place in England after 500 years
- Iran poses top threat to Mideast stability, Israeli consul general says
- IAEA says Iran won’t answer nuke questions