Conflict in Asia Pacific region not in China`s interest: Biden

Last Updated: Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 22:00

Washington: US Vice-President Joe Biden today said it was in the interest of China that the current tension in the Asia Pacific region, in particular the disputes over the South China Sea, does not result in a conflict.
"I am confident that it`s in the interests of China and the emerging Chinese leadership that it not results in conflict," Biden said in response to a question at the Munich Security Conference.
"The last thing that they need at this moment -- and they`re dealing with the incredible potential and incredibly complex problems relative to their economy, their growth and their national needs -- is to engage in anything remotely approaching military competition with the United States.

I do not believe that is their intention. It clearly is not our intention. We work and coordinate with our Russian friends and our Japanese friends as well," Biden said.

America, he said, believes in having frank, straightforward, private dialogue with the emerging leadership in China, and letting them know what its interests are, letting them know what US believe its role is, and let them make judgments about whether or not that in any way conflicts with their growth patterns or what they believe ability to maintain their own national security interest.

"I am convinced that if we do our job correctly and we, in fact, interface directly with the leadership, that there will be intense competition, there will be occasional misunderstandings, but there will not be -- my children -- my son, who is with me today, a 40-year-old man, will not, when he is my age, be looking at China as a sworn enemy.

I do not believe that`s in the cards. I believe there is healthy competition from a growing, emerging China, which I would argue is in the interest of all of us," he said.

Biden said one of the reasons China has been able to have this period of sort of sustained growth and stability is because of a US presence in the Pacific, not in spite of.

"And so I believe we can, with a lot of hard work and direct dialogue, avoid confrontation and manage what will be an intense competition, particularly in the economic field. But then again, I am an American; I look forward to competition," said the US Vice-President.

Biden`s comments came at the time of heightened tensions between China and most of its South East Asian neighbours over boundary disputes.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 22:00

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