US will not recognize China’s air defense zone: Biden tells Xi

US will not recognise China's air defence zone Biden tells XiBEIJING: US Vice President Joe Biden has told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Washington will not recognize Beijing’s new air defense zone over disputed islands in the East China Sea and asked him to take steps to reduce tensions arisen out of the unilateral move.

In a five-and-half hour long meeting with President Xi over dinner last night with handful aides, Biden had a “back and forth” conversation on the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and a host of other bilateral issues.

“They covered every single topic in the US-China relationship. The conversation was very much a back-and-forth.

It reflected the casual candor that the two leaders have developed,” a US official said in his briefing after the meeting.

On the issue of the air defense zone, “the vice president laid out our position in detail,” the official said.

“He indicated that we don’t recognize the zone, that we have deep concerns.”

Biden told Xi that “We are looking to China to take steps to reduce tensions.”

On his part, “President Xi was equally clear in laying out their view of the zone and of territorial disputes in the region,” the official said.

“Ultimately, President Xi took on board what the vice president said. It’s up to China, and we’ll see how things will unfold in the coming days and weeks,” the official said.

The defense zone announced by China days ahead of Biden’s visit has become bone of contention with US, Japan and South Korea, who have refused to abide by the rule that all the airlines have to register their flight paths.

The jets of all these countries violated the zone several times while China scrambled fighter planes to identify the aircraft but so far not acted against them.

Besides ADIZ, the Biden and Xi who struck a good rapport during their meeting last year discussed developments in North Korea in the light of reports executions of some officials.

“They talked at some length about what the Iran example means for North Korea,” the official said, citing the combination of pressure and unity of partners that helped bring about the interim nuclear deal.

Biden also asked Xi for details on the economic reforms that flowed out of the recent Third Plenum, including interest rate liberalization.

“Biden told him that these kinds of reforms will take years to implement,” the official said, adding “and we need to make progress in the here and now.” -PTI

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