US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan, China and Korea this week seeks to send a clear message - that the US will remain an active Pacific power for the foreseeable future. Coming in the wake of the Chinese decision to establish an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, Biden will reassure Japan and Korea that the alliance with the US is as strong as ever. He will also express his ‘deep concern’ at the Chinese move. President Obama has already responded to the Chinese move by sending B52 bombers through the zone without any prior warning to China.
During his first stop in Tokyo, Biden said that the US was ‘a resident Pacific power, we're here to stay, and we're actively engaged on the full spectrum of issues in the region.’ In a joint statement the two sides called on China to rescind the ADIZ decision which has been widely criticised including in Korea. Both sides pledged to carry out joint surveillance missions and work together in development assistance and disaster relief operations in Asia. Apart from the situation in the East China Sea, talks with Japanese leaders focused on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and how to bring about a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
By Sukjoon Yoon
Regional maritime territorial disputes have expanded beyond the surface of the seas into the airspace above them, marking a significant enlargement of the theatre of conflict. Why has China established the East China Sea (ECS) Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ)?
On the tenth day of anti-government protests in Bangkok, and two days before the King’s birthday, Thai police have reversed their tough line and began to seek conciliation with the protesters. Demonstrators have been allowed through the barricades outside Bangkok’s Government House.
On 4 December, the EU-Asia Centre held a policy briefing in the European Parliament on Bangladesh’s political situation before the general elections on 5 January. The main issues discussed were the pre-election tensions between the main political parties, the 1971 war crimes trial, and the state of EU-Bangladesh relations.
EU-ASIA Centre is a new think tank dedicated to promoting closer relations between the EU and Asia.