Biden To Visit Asia Amid Heightened Tensions

Credit: Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer/wikimediaCredit: Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer/wikimediaOn December 2, Vice President Joe Biden will head to Asia. The news of the visit comes amid rising tensions between China and Japan regarding sovereignty over a group of small uninhabited islands. The ongoing dispute over the islands, referred to in China as the Diaoyu Islands and in Japan as the Senkaku Islands, recently intensified when China announced the introduction of an air defense zone that covers the islands. According the BBC, the Chinese government has said that any planes within the zone “must obey its rules or face "emergency defensive measures."

Since the introduction of the zone two unarmed American B-52 bombers have flown over the disputed islands. The Chinese defense ministry has said that the planes were monitored.

Commercial Japanese planes defied the rules relating to the newly introduced zone, ignoring Chinese authorities while flying through it.

The BBC has a map outlining the extent of the new Chinese defense zone, shown below (the Chinese Defense Ministry and the EIA are credited):

Credit: BBCCredit: BBC

Yes, the islands that are the cause of all the recent fuss are so small they cannot be seen on the map. Put together, the islands have an area of less than three square miles. 

More from Reason.com on China here

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  • Aresen||

    The area could use a little comedy.

  • The Other Kevin||

    First Obamacare and now this? This is turning out to be the best Christmas ever.

  • Dave Krueger||

    I welcome the possibility of WWIII being triggered by any dispute outside of the middle east.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    Can you imagine how the Chinese and Japanese feel? The administration basically flipped them the middle finger.

  • John Galt||

    Yay! Buffoon Boy to the rescue.

  • pangloss90@gmail.com||

    Just looking at that map, I have to wonder if this isn't more about possibly blocking flights from Taiwan to South Korea and Japan than an oil/gas claim against Japan. I know they could just fly around the zone, but that costs fuel the PRC will typically take any chance it can to tweek the ROC.

  • JidaKida||

    They should trhough Biden out of the plane on the way there!

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