Kicking off a weeklong trip to East Asia, Vice President Joe Biden urged China and Japan to put in place new mechanisms to reduce the chance of an escalation in tensions.
The two countries, as we’ve reported, are at odds over air space above a set of disputed islands in the East China Sea. Back in November, China declared the air space to be part of its new, expanded air defense zone and any aircraft wanting to enter would first have to notify Chinese authorities.
Today, Biden said the U.S. was “deeply concerned” and he urged calm.
“This action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation,” Biden said during a news conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to Reuters. “This underscores the need for crisis management mechanisms and effective channels of communication between China and Japan to reduce the risk of escalation.”
On Monday, the White House called on China to drop its new procedures.