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Biden says China's airspace zone has caused apprehension

Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 9:40 PM ET

BEIJING, Dec 5 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday that China's recent announcement of an air defence identification zone over the East China Sea had caused apprehension in the region, and that he was firm about the U.S. stance on the move during talks in Beijing.

Biden, addressing U.S. businesspeople in Beijing, said that Washington had a profound stake in what happens in the region because it "is a fact" that the United States will remain an economic and military power in Asia.

Beijing's decision to declare an air defence identification zone in an area that includes disputed islands has triggered protests from the United States, Japan and South Korea and dominated Biden's talks in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Biden heads to South Korea later on Thursday.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard)