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US Vice President in China as controversy over air defence zone continues

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US Vice President in China as controversy over air defence zone continues

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US Vice President Joe Biden is in Beijing for meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

Top of the agenda for discussion is China’s newly declared air defence zone which includes islands claimed and controlled by Japan. Beijing says it must be notified of any planes flying through.

Both Tokyo and Washington have rejected the establishment of the zone, although three US airlines, acting on government advice, are now giving China their flight plans.

At the US Embassy, Biden told Chinese visa applicants rather undiplomatically that they should challenge the Chinese government.

“Innovation can only occur when you can breathe free, challenge the government, challenge your teachers, challenge religious leaders,” Biden said.

The visit is part of a week long trip to Asia to show the US’s commitmen to increasing its engagement and influence in the region.