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Biden delivers US foreign policy message on his Asian trip

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Vice-President Biden maintained a diplomatic balance in his meetings with China and considers his Asian trip a 'chance to bend history' in favor of trade, women's achievement, environmental protection and ties between the US and Asia according to Associate Press from Seoul, South Korea where he gave a speech today.

China’s Minister of Defense issued two weeks ago an air defense zone over the islands in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in China and Senaku in Japan. The US continued its B-52 unarmed training missions over the area.

NBC World News reports today that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Friday that Washington does not accept China's new air defense zone over disputed islands in the East China Sea. He discussed this with China’s president, Xi.

Appearing somber and subdued on Wednesday after their meeting, Biden said the relationship between the two major powers will significantly affect the course of the 21st century. If the U.S. and China can get that relationship right, the possibilities are limitless, Biden said as reporters were allowed in briefly after he met with Xi in Beijing.

Japan has been on edge for the past two weeks since China unilaterally declared any planes flying through the zone must file flight plans with Beijing. The airspace sits atop tiny islands that are at the center of a long-running territorial dispute between China and Japan. China has refused Japan’s offers of negotiations on the islands or a purchase agreement by Japan.

The U.S. refuses to recognize the zone, but Biden has avoided calling publicly for Beijing to retract it, wary of making demands that China is likely to snub. He did declare after the meeting on Wednesday that there had been some positive start in the meeting.

Another area of problematic talks was that of the American journalists threatened with cancellation of their visas. The tensions appear to stem primarily from Chinese displeasure with articles about corruption among top Communist Party members and government officials. Reports about the massive wealth acquired by “princelings,” the family members of elite government figures, touch a sore point.

It is a significant issue because of the attention brought to it by 'The New York Times’, David Barboza, who won a Pulitzer Prize this year for his reporting on the topic; Bloomberg won a George Polk Award in February for a series about it, including one article that focused on the riches of the president’s family.

Barboza, who is based in China, is among nine Times journalists who have not received visas to remain in China. At least 14 at Bloomberg are similarly affected, according to a journalist briefed on the Biden meeting.

Douglas Jehl, the Washington Post’s foreign editor stated that it is not unusual at this time to wait for visa renewal as it does not begin until November. He expects that the Chinese authorities will act very soon to renew the Post’s journalists and is not concerned at this time.

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