Skip to comments.Biden goes on mission to China (what possibly could wrong....)
Posted on 12/02/2013 4:33:41 PM PST by Sub-Driver
December 02, 2013, 06:58 pm Biden goes on mission to China
By Julian Pecquet
Vice President Biden has been thrust into the center of an escalating standoff with China that is testing him on the global stage ahead of a possible presidential run in 2016.
President Obama dispatched Biden to Asia, where he will deliver a strong warning to China for declaring an air defense zone over islands that are also claimed by U.S. ally Japan.
This is an opportunity for Vice President Biden to raise our concerns directly with policymakers in Beijing and to seek clarity regarding the Chinese intentions in making this move at this time, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. We do not accept the legitimacy of Chinas requirements.
The mission has a political upside for the vice president, as it gives him a chance to show hes presidential material in the pressure cooker of an international crisis.
Biden has long fashioned himself a foreign policy pro, and the former senators decades of experience in that arena was one of the main things Obama cited after choosing him as his running mate in 2008.
With Secretary of State John Kerry tied up in Middle East politics, it has fallen to Biden to play the heavy with China a role he is likely to embrace with gusto.
From his perspective its probably a little too exciting, said Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
A few days ago it looked like it would be about advancing the U.S. agenda, cooperation, multilateralism and now all of a sudden its turned into an exercise in crisis management, said Economy.
The vice presidents trip to Japan, China and South Korea had been meant to reassure the region that the Obama administration remains committed to its pivot to Asia. At the top of the agenda was trade, improving U.S relations with China and implementing a free trade agreement with South Korea.
That agenda went out the window 10 days ago with the airspace decree, which exposed the tensions that are being produced by Chinas rapid rise as an economic and military force.
China demanded that flights over a series of deserted islands called the Diaoyus in Chinese and the Senkakus in Japanese inform Beijing of their flight plans. Since then, China has dispatched fighter jets to monitor U.S. and Japanese military flights in the area.
The U.S. denounced the order, and sent two B-52 bombers through the area, without informing China, in a show of defiance.
Beijing also has territorial disputes in the South China Sea, including with U.S. allies Taiwan and the Philippines, with each side blaming the other for the escalation.
Its against that backdrop of regional conflict that Biden arrived in Tokyo Monday night to begin a series of high-level visits.
Biden is scheduled to meet Tuesday with Japans hawkish Prime Minster Shinzō Abe, and will follow that up by visiting with Japanese lawmakers.
His first challenge is to reassure the Japanese that the White House isnt abandoning them after the Federal Aviation Administration advised American carriers to inform China of their flight plans over the islands the opposite guidance Japan has given to its civilian fleet.
I was taken aback when I heard this, Yukio Okamoto, a well-known former diplomat who served in Washington, told Japans public broadcaster NHK over the weekend, according to The Wall Street Journal. I cant think of any case like this in the past where the U.S. took a step that hurt Japans interests over an issue related directly to Japans national security in a way visible to the whole world.
The State Department denies any rift, and says the advisory was made to ensure the safety of passengers and aircrews and did not convey that the U.S. government supported this effort, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday.
The White House has made use of Biden in China before, sending him to Beijing in 2011 to meet his then-counterpart Xi Jinping as he was being groomed for Chinas presidency. Theyre hoping that visit pays dividends now.
A senior administration official said Biden has forged extraordinarily close and warm relations with the leaders of all three countries that he will be visiting.
I would say he knows President Xi as well or better than probably any American, and possibly virtually any leader, said the official. So this matters. And I think that what you will see is that this relationship enables him to conduct a high-level and a high-quality dialogue thats particularly valuable today among these three countries.
Economy said Biden is the only person able to stand in for Obama at a delicate juncture in U.S.-China relations.
I wouldnt read this as the vice president claiming Asia for himself, but rather who can be most effective at one point in time, she said. He is the only one who can legitimately substitute for the president [and] will be able to communicate with Xi Jinping at a level that the secretary cannot.
Her advice to Biden: Stand firm.
The most important thing the vice president can do is what weve done, which is to sort of draw the line in the sand and say: Were not going to accept this, she said. I think its critical. Because if you give an inch, you will lose a mile.
He comes back?
Any chance we can get the Chinese to keep him? They could probably use a few laughs if they don't take him too seriously. Hell...nobody in America takes the fool seriously, either.
“Stand up, chink!”
“Oh, you are standing up. Confuscius luv ya.”
He’ll do his Chinese slanty-eyes, and sing...
“Chinese, Japanese... These are knees, look at these”.
And then will try to order the Combo #6 at the official dinner.
Obama publicly snubbed Asia by blowing off two important summits so he could stay in Washington and score political points by not negotiating with Republicans over the shut down. This was noticed by Asian leaders. Big time.
Sending Slow Joe over there just makes things worse by underscoring they didn't get Obama. And God only knows what gaffes Joe will make. You just know he's gonna make at least one.
Please, Lord, help us.
Dumbo biden will think he is in Ohio.
Barry must have given him a hall pass........
Maybe he can take a tour of North Korea while he’s there.....
Maybe he’ll look up old General Chow.
Biden liked his chicken dish...
Send Kerry or Hillary with him if you want to see what more can go wrong.
I was thinking he could take the same tour that the 85 yr old Korean vet went on and got detained by the North Koreans.
Can you imagine what a prize catch he would be initially in the eyes of the Norks? Then eventually they would offer us a few concessions just to take him back.
With GOD’s help, maybe the evil son of a bitch will fail to make it back from China alive.
“Ah, Mr. Wu - let me introduce the second most powerful (snicker) elected official in the country, Mr. Joe (snooooork!) Biden (BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) - sorry, where were we? Joe, this is Mr. Wu. Joe, over here. Uh, sorry, Mr. Wu - Joe thinks that panda is a Democrat voter - well, he’s slobbering, making grunting noises, and playing with his toes, so it’s a natural assumption. So is the panda. Mr. Wu? Mr. Wu?”
Joe is going to pick up some more campaign cash.
Looks to me like Obama is trying to pump up Biden’s resume. Hillary and Bill can’t be pleased.
“Stand up Chen!”
There are really differences in interests that can’t be papered over with sweet talk. I don’t know why this admin continues to pretend otherwise. China is a huge economy that is only getting bigger and they are not going back down.
If we’re lucky, he’ll get lost and not find his way back.