Biden to visit Japan and China to push trade pact

Biden to visit Japan and China to push trade pactJoseph Biden, Vice President of the United States reaches Japan today on a trip to express the American commitment to the Asia-Pacific and defuse tensions over a Chinese air defence zone that drew criticism from the U. S. and its allies. Biden arrives less than a month after U. S.  Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew travelled to the region to seek progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with a year-end deadline for the pact less than a month away.

The Vice President will try to find a way to an agreement with Japan on the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal during his trip.  He will then head for China, where U. S. officials say he will ask leaders to clarify their intention with the zone, and visit South Korea later this week to discuss North Korea's nuclear program.

Tension over the zone may give new impetus to a U. S. rebalance toward Asia and fortify trade ties with nations concerned at China's growing military and economic power. Biden can call on personal ties to President Xi Jinping to calm down the dispute over the zone, which covers islands in the East China Sea which is also claimed by Japan and has been the site of recurring over flights in recent days by airplanes from the U. S., South Korea and Japan.