Biden Heading to Asia
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is on a six-day visit to Asia at a time of increased tensions with China over a just-declared air defense zone.
Biden begins his trip Monday in Japan and will also visit China and South Korea. The White House says his visit is aimed at reaffirming the U.S. as a Pacific power, promoting economic and trade interests, and its commitment to rebalancing U.S. foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific.
Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. The White House says Biden will seek to advance the high-level engagement that is the hallmark of U.S.-Chinese relations.
But it says Biden will also discuss what it calls areas of concern, including regional tensions.
Last month, China declared an air defense zone in the Pacific over islands claimed by both China and Japan.
China is demanding all planes submit flight plans before crossing the zone. Japan is refusing to comply.
The United States has already flown military jets across the zone ignoring China's demand, but is recommending U.S. commercial airliners inform the Chinese of their flight plans.
Thai PM Calls Opposition Demands Unconstitutional
Thailand's prime minister says she cannot comply with demands by the anti-government opposition because they are unconstitutional.
In a televised news conference on Monday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra confirmed that she met with anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban late Sunday. She said the meeting was held under the auspices of the military, which says it is neutral in the conflict.
She told reporters that Suthep's demands that she resign, dissolve parliament and turn the government over to an unelected "people's council" was not possible under the law.
The prime minister said she was willing to do anything she could to make people happy, but what she could do must be legal under the constitution.
Her comments came as police continued to fire tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets at thousands of protesters trying to seize government buildings in Bangkok.
The protesters had set Sunday as "Victory Day" to topple Ms. Yingluck's government, but failed to achieve their goal of seizing the prime minister's office at Government House or occupying state buildings.