By Julian Pecquet - 12/03/13 12:41 PM EST
Vice President Biden has been thrust into the center of an escalating standoff with China that is testing him on the global stage ahead of a possible presidential run in 2016.
President Obama dispatched Biden to Asia, where he will deliver a strong warning to China for declaring an air defense zone over islands that are also claimed by U.S. ally Japan.
The mission has a political upside for the vice president, as it gives him a chance to show he’s presidential material in the pressure cooker of an international crisis.
Biden has long fashioned himself a foreign policy pro, and the former senator’s decades of experience in that arena was one of the main things Obama cited after choosing him as his running mate in 2008.