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    Showing posts with label Beijing. Show all posts

    Biden calls for trust with China amid airspace dispute

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, visiting China as a dispute over a new Chinese air defence zone rattles nerves around the region, said on Wednesday that relations between Washington and Beijing had to be based on trust.

    Beijing’s decision to declare an air defence identification zone in an area that includes disputed islands has triggered protests from the United States, Japan and South Korea and dominated Biden’s talks in Tokyo on Tuesday.

    The United States has made clear it will stand by treaty obligations that require it to defend the Japanese-controlled islands, but it is also reluctant to get dragged into any military clash between rivals Japan and China.

    Biden told Chinese President Xi Jinping he believed Xi was a candid and constructive person.

    “In developing this new relationship, both qualities are sorely needed,” Biden said during a meeting in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

    “Candor generates trust. Trust is the basis on which real change, constructive change, is made.”

    Xi said the international situation and regional landscape were “undergoing profound and complex changes”.

    “Regional issues keep cropping up and there are more pronounced global challenges such as climate change and energy security. The world is not tranquil,” he added.

    Neither made any mention of the air defence zone in remarks before reporters. Biden flies to Seoul on Thursday.

    As Biden arrived, the official English-language China Daily said in a strongly worded editorial that he “should not expect any substantial headway if he comes simply to repeat his government’s previous erroneous and one-sided remarks”.

    “If the U.S. is truly committed to lowering tensions in the region, it must first stop acquiescing to Tokyo’s dangerous brinkmanship. It must stop emboldening belligerent Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to constantly push the envelope of Japan’s encroachments and provocations.”

    Under the zone’s rules, all aircraft have to report flight plans to Chinese authorities, maintain radio contact and reply promptly to identification inquiries.

    U.S., Japanese and South Korean military aircraft have breached the zone without informing Beijing since it was announced on Nov. 23.

    Hu Jia Released: Prominent Chinese Activist Freed From Jail

    A prominent Chinese political activist imprisoned for sedition was released Sunday at the end of his more than three-year sentence, his wife said, though his freedom could be limited by continued surveillance.

    A major figure in China's dissident community, Hu Jia advocated a broad range of civil liberties before he was imprisoned in 2008. His 3 1/2-year prison sentence was set to end Sunday.

    He returned home before dawn, Hu's wife Zeng Jinyan said in an online message. "Safe, very happy. Needs to recuperate for a period of time," Zeng said in a Twitter message.

    No one answered Zeng's phones on Sunday, but she had said earlier she would announce his release on Twitter. She had visited him on Monday at the Beijing Municipal Prison.

    Hu, 37, is known for his activism with AIDS patients and orphans. The sedition charge stems from police accusations that he planned to work with foreigners to disturb the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

    Hu's release comes amid one of the Chinese government's broadest campaigns of repression in years as Beijing has moved to prevent the growth of an Arab-style protest movement.

    Like other dissidents released recently from jail, Hu might be kept under some sort of continued detention in his home, although such restrictions are illegal in China.

    Hu's release comes several days after outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei were released after nearly three months in detention. He was one of the most prominent activists detained in China's sweeping crackdown on dissent, which began in February

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