Foreign experts discuss tensions over China's ADIZ

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US Vice President Joe Biden is set to arrive in China on Wednesday, as part of his three-nation East Asia tour. The trip comes amid rising tensions surrounding China's new Air Defense Identification Zone.

On Tuesday, leading foreign affairs experts gathered in Beijing to discuss regional security, and in particular the roles of China and the US.

The latest wave of tensions was not on the agenda, when Joe Biden's visit was scheduled.

China recently established an air defense identification zone, covering the disputed Diaoyu Islands... but the United States and Japan have since defied the zone by sending warplanes.

China responded by scrambling fighter jets on patrol. This has prompted warnings of a further escalation.

"Two nos. No conflict, and no confrontation. Both sides will benefit greatly from peace and cooperation, or they will suffer seriously from confrontation and conflicts," said Cai Wei, Dept. of North America & Oceanian Affairs, MFA.

China's leading foreign experts, taking part in an international conference addressing security in the Asia-Pacific, have been speaking of a shift in major power relations. The core of this idea is to avoid conflict between rising and developed powers, like many times in history.

This change in relations between China and the US, came following a meeting of the two presidents in June. Some believe the key to this new relationship is trust.

"If we want to achieve a new type of relationship, we need to model our behavior in the real world, not say one thing and do something else all together. While China has a perfect right to declare an air defense identification zone, the way China went about it very much smells like the 19th century, not the 21st century," said Michael Schiffer, senior advisor of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

20 countries have already set up their own air defense identification zones, including the United States and Japan. China's Foreign Ministry has criticized the US and Japan of double standards.

China's vice foreign minister, also present at the conference, called for economic integration instead of military alliances, to maintain Asia-Pacific security.

"We believe that the idea of military alliances has already become outdated. Although some still exist in East Asia, if we can upgrade our economic cooperation to the level of the European Union, these alliances will automatically become unnecessary," said Liliu Zhenmin, vice minister of Chinese foreign ministry.

Throughout the conference we heard clash of arguments from the experts of the world's two biggest powers. As Joe Biden is starting his visit to China, experts say that the differences between China and the United States may not be resolved overnight, or over just one visit.

However, the common ground is that both sides still aspire development and oppose confrontation, and the bottom line is mutual respect of core interest and major concerns.


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