Beijing defends air defence zone as Biden arrives

China says that 55 airlines from 19 countries have reported their flight plans to fly through its Air Defence Identification Zone over the East China Sea.

Updated - May 26, 2016 10:05 am IST

Published - December 04, 2013 07:36 pm IST - Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden as they pose for photos at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden as they pose for photos at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.

As U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden arrived in Beijing to press China to rollback its unilaterally declared air defence zone, China on Wednesday defended the move, saying it is in accord with international laws and practises and will not affect normal flights.

“China has gained understanding from an increasing number of countries over the establishment of the zone. People have come to realise it is a safe and cooperative, rather than risky and confrontational area,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

Mr. Hong said that 55 airlines from 19 countries have reported their flight plans to fly through its Air Defence Identification Zone over the East China Sea.

Mr. Hong’s comment came after Mr. Biden arrived in Beijing on Wednesday after meeting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

At a joint press conference with Mr. Abe on Tuesday, Mr. Biden said he would raise Washington’s concerns over the air zone “in great specificity... when I meet with the Chinese leadership”.

Mr. Biden expressed America’s deep concern over “attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea”.

“This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation. We are closely consulting with our allies on this matter here in Japan and in Korea which I will soon visit, later this week,” he said.

China has accused the U.S. and Japan — which both have ADIZs — of double standards, saying the real provocateur is Tokyo.

“This is a hugely consequential relationship that is going to affect the course of the 21st century,” Mr. Biden said after being welcomed by his counterpart Li Yuanchao.

Their ties will become the “central, sort of, organising principle in international relations for a long time”, the U.S. Vice-President said.

“Like all complex relationships, it calls for sustained, high-level engagement,” Mr. Biden said, adding he believed President Xi was committed “to managing our differences candidly and constructively”.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.