China Resolved To Enforce Air Defense Zone

Dec 6, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after their meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday.
Credit William Ng / U.S. Department of State

China says it is fully capable of enforcing its newly-declared maritime air defense zone above disputed islands in the East China Sea that has drawn strong denunciations from the U.S., Japan and other nations.

“They're [the islands] not all that impressive, but they happen to be on top of what looks like oil reserves or natural gas,” says Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. “There are a lot of people in this part of the world that are needing energy, and the demand there rises, so this becomes about resources, and about power.”

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Beijing and Tokyo earlier this week to meet seperately with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On Tuesday, Biden said China's move raised regional tensions.

“This puts the United States in a very difficult situation, because we understand that Japan is a big player in the region, and we have obligations to our ally in Japan,” Cruise says. “But China is also a growing power in the region, and we want them there to maintain stability.”


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