Biden seeks to calm China air zone tensions
BEIJING (AFP) - US Vice President Joe Biden told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday that their countries' relationship will affect "the course of the 21st century" as he tried to ease tensions over an air zone declared by Beijing.
Biden's trip, which began in Japan and ends in South Korea, follows a furore over Beijing's declaration of an "air defence identification zone" (ADIZ) covering the East China Sea including islands disputed with Japan.
It demonstrates the challenges Washington - which has declared a foreign policy "pivot" towards Asia - faces in dealing with an ever more assertive China, the world's second-largest economy, while maintaining a security alliance with Beijing's great rival Japan.
"This is a hugely consequential bilateral relationship that is going to play a significant part in affecting the course of the 21st century," Biden told Xi.