In a sharp rebuff,China accused Washington on Wednesday of taking Japans side in a tense clash over disputed islands in the East China Sea,underscoring rising regional friction as visiting Vice President Joe Biden met with Beijings leaders.
Emerging from a private meeting with President Xi Jinping that went considerably longer than scheduled,Biden appeared somber and subdued. In a brief appearance before reporters in which he took no questions,Biden did not go into details on differences over Chinas newly declared restricted flying zone. Instead,he spoke of a new model of major country cooperation, saying US-China relations must hinge on trust and a positive notion of each others motives.
The awkward kickoff for a series of official meetings in Beijing followed Bidens speech earlier Wednesday urging young Chinese citizens to challenge orthodoxy and the status quo. The vice president drew an implicit contrast between the authoritarian rule of Chinas government and the liberal,permissive and intellectual culture he described in the United States.
Neither Biden nor Xi made public mention of the clash over disputed territory that has pitted China against the United States and its Asian allies.
An editorial in the state media China Daily charged,however,that Washington is turning a blind eye to Tokyos provocations, calling that the root cause of the tensions. It said that the United States is wrongly pointing an accusing finger at China for unilaterally changing the status quo in the East China Sea.
Biden told reporters after his initial talks with Xi that the relationship between the two major powers will significantly affect the course of the 21st century. If the U.S. and China can get that relationship right,the possibilities are limitless,he said to reporters who were allowed in briefly after the vice president met with Xi.