Biden: Relationship with China requires trust

Vice President Biden on Wednesday told Chinese President Xi Jinping the country’s relationship with the United States needs to be based on trust. 

Biden commended Xi by describing President Obama’s previous meetings with the Chinese leader as candid and constructive. 

ADVERTISEMENT
"As we've discussed in the past, this new model of major-country cooperation ultimately has to be based on trust and a positive notion about the motive of one another," Biden said after a bilateral meeting in the country that ran an hour and 15 minutes over schedule. 

Biden is on a weeklong trip to the region, making stops in China, Japan and South Korea. 

"As you have pointed out, Mr. President, complex relationships require sustained high-level engagement, and that's why I'm here," Biden said.

Biden’s trip to the region comes amid tensions over an air-defense zone China set up last month. The country has asked to be notified of any travel through the disputed area. American military planes have refused to recognize it. 

During a stop in Japan on Tuesday, Biden expressed “deep concern” with the move and said he would raise the issue with Chinese leaders during his visit. 

A senior administration official said after the meeting, Biden and Xi covered "every single topic in the U.S.-China relationship," including the air-defense zone. 

“He indicated that we don’t recognize the zone, that we have deep concerns," and Biden said the Unites States is "looking to China to take steps to reduce tensions," the official said.

The official added that It is ultimately up to China and "we'll see how things will unfold in the coming days and weeks."

Ahead of the meeting, Biden recalled a previous visit to the country in 1979, noting the difference in seating as a vice president rather than a junior senator.  

"So I've made progress," he said. "I'm in this chair."

Earlier, during a visit to the U.S. Embassy in China, Biden said the ability of the United States to remake itself is guided by a rejection of orthodoxy and a constant stream of new immigrants.  

"Children in America are rewarded, not punished for challenging the status quo," Biden said. "I hope you learn that innovation can only occur where you can breathe free, challenge the government, challenge religious leaders."

— Updated at 11:50 a.m.