Biden to address maritime disputes 'head on' in Asia

US Vice President Joe Biden on Monday begins a week-long visit to India and Singapore where officials say he will tackle tensions over the disputed South China Sea "head on."

The trip allows the White House to reassert its commitment to a strategic pivot to Asia, with Biden to discuss growing economic cooperation with the region as well as geo-political hot topics such as Afghanistan.

Notably it provides President Barack Obama's number two a chance to confer with regional leaders on how to manage overlapping maritime claims in the South China Sea -- a flashpoint for the past decade.

China claims virtually all of the body of water, drawing accusations from rival claimants the Philippines and Vietnam, among others, that it is mounting a creeping takeover of disputed islets.

Biden and the Obama administration are "concerned about certain patterns of activity that have unfolded in these areas, and so I think you can expect that he will address this issue head-on while he is there," a senior administration official said Friday.

While in Singapore, Biden will talk with leaders about Washington's "very deep stake in making sure that these disputes are managed in a way that promotes freedom of navigation, promotes stability, promotes conflict resolution, avoids intimidation and coercion and aggression."

Biden first travels to New Delhi, where he is scheduled to meet top leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee.

On Wednesday Biden gives a policy speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange and holds a roundtable with business leaders, where he will press for stronger intellectual property protection and highlight growing trade between the world's two largest democracies.

Bilateral trade has surged to nearly $100 billion per year, "but there is no reason it can't be five times that much," the administration official said.

Immigration reform currently under debate in the US Congress is of interest in India, where skilled graduates could stand to be the biggest beneficiaries of a planned overhaul that would triple the number of visas allotted to highly-skilled workers.

Biden's trip follows Obama's nomination of Nisha Desai Biswal as assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, the first time an Indian American would head the bureau which oversees US foreign policy with Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

India is not party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal being negotiated by 12 nations and which Biden says he hopes will be completed this year.

But Singapore is a TPP participant, and Biden travels there Thursday. He is due to meet the city-state's leadership as well as its founding founder Lee Kuan Yew.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • UN report: More than 25,000 foreigners fight with terrorists
    UN report: More than 25,000 foreigners fight with terrorists

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new U.N. report says more than 25,000 foreign fighters from over 100 countries have traveled to join with al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and other splinter groups in countries from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan, Libya and the Philippines. …

  • Sandiganbayan allows Sen. Jinggoy to have his aching shoulder checked

    The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has given permission to Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to leave detention and have his aching shoulder checked at a private hospital yesterday. "After taking into account the arguments of both parties and for humanitarian considerations, the Court resolves to grant accused-movant's prayer over the objection of the prosecution," read the Fifth Division's resolution that was issued yesterday and signed by its Chairman Roland Jurado and Associate Justices Efren …

  • Financing lack cause of slow e-vehicle program implementation

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) has blamed the lack of financing for the slow implementation of the environment friendly e-vehicle program in the country. EVAP President Rommel Juan said that EVs are now available all over the Philippines because of the various  private and some local government units programs on the use of e-vehicles. We need funders, financing people or angel investors to come in and tie up with credible and reliable EV players to finally catapult …

  • Exhibit recalls Christ’s passion and death

    Now ongoing at the Palo Municipal Hall grounds is an exhibit of photographs on the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The exhibit which will run until April 6, is dubbed “Pamalandong Photo Exhibit 2015.”  It features old pictures taken during the traditional yearly re-enactment of Christ’s passion and death in the Archdiocese of Palo,  which is the center of Catholic hierarchy in Leyte and Samar. Palo Mayor Remedios L. Petilla opened the photo exhibit with Philippine Councilor League Leyte …

  • The Philippines, another Singapore?

    Bongbong Marcos makes the ludicrous claim that if his father Ferdinand hadn’t been deposed in 1986, we would now be another Singapore, prosperous and orderly. There was no way that turning the Philippines into another Singapore would be possible today, or in the 1980s. The world’s eyes are all on Singapore these days after the passing last week of that city-state’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. As Singapore mourns Lee’s death, the world toasts him as a visionary who practically …

  • Armed men burn Philtranco buses in Tacloban

    Fully armed young men burned two Philtranco Bus Company buses in the Philtranco terminal in Barangay 91 Abucay midnight of March 31. Philippine National Police Eastern Visayas Regional Director Chief Supt. Asher A. Dolina has directed Tacloban City Police Director Senior Supt. Domingo Say Cabillan to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the burning of the two commercial passenger buses. Dolina said he wants the case probed to determine if the act is part of the usual …

  • Senate to look into Sajahatra program

    Lourdes “Nancy” Binay has asked the Senate to look into the government’s Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program (SBP) - a joint social protection agenda between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which was included in a comprehensive peace agreement entered into by the two parties. Binay noted that while the SBP’s goal was to uplift and develop the health, education, and livelihood conditions of Bangsamoro communities struggling against poverty and conflict, she has been …

  • Save up for Hajj thru Islamic bank’s plan

    To help pilgrims get to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AIIBP) has launched the first Pilgrimage Savings Plan (PSP) in the country. Local Muslims have long been studying Malaysia's widely-successful Tabung Haji savings program, and this was the first time a similar initiative was formally introduced in the Philippines. Idiosa B. Ursolino, AIIBP vice president, presented the PSP at a recent international conference on Islamic finance and banking …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options