ADIZ Talks Dominate Biden’s Visit to Asia

Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Beijing on Wednesday as tensions continued to mount over China’s recently declared air defense identification zone over parts of the East China Sea. Following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden said he believed Xi was being candid and constructive. “In developing this new relationship, both qualities are sorely needed,” Biden said during a media availability with Xi, in which he also noted the regional landscape is undergoing “profound and complex changes.” While US, Japanese, and South Korean military aircraft have breached the zone without following Beijing’s strict identification requirements, three US airliners have notified China in advance of plans to transit the zone (Japanese and South Korean airliners have been told by their governments to ignore the rules). The disputed zone also topped discussions between Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Tuesday, reported Reuters. According to pool reports, Abe did not ask Biden to demand China withdraw the ADIZ pronouncement. However, the two leaders did agree that US and Japanese military forces operating in the region would not abide by the new regulations. “The prime minister discussed explicitly in his remarks that our military operations will not be changed by the announcement,” one official told the reporting pool.