Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Isis and regional issues at heart of Joe Biden visit to NZ

US Vice President Joe Biden meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and members of his cabinet in Sydney today. Photo / AP
US Vice President Joe Biden meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and members of his cabinet in Sydney today. Photo / AP

Regional security issues, including the South China Seas ruling, and the fight against Isis (Islamic State) will be central to talks between United States Vice-President Joe Biden and Prime Minister John Key.

Joe Biden arrives from Australia tomorrow night and on Thursday will hold formal talks with Key who will be returning tomorrow from Indonesia.

He also discussed the South China Seas dispute and terrorism with President Joko Widodo, a powerful figure in the influential Asean group of countries, most of which are in dispute with China.

Key said Biden would have an interest in Indonesia's position and New Zealand's position.

"There will be a way through like every complex issue" Key said "and the best and most successful way through will be diplomacy and dialogue."

The UN court of Arbitration rules last week that China's claims to maritime rights in the South China Seas had no legal basis.

Before visiting Australia, he landed on an aircraft carrier near Hawaii taking part in Rimpac maritime exercises and talked up the relationships the US had in the Asia Pacific especially with allies including Japan and south Korea.

Australia is a close ally too Biden is due to give a major speech in Australia.

In Melbourne Biden attended an Aussie Rules game with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and visited a Boeing factory where he addressed workers and expounded on his "middle-class" focus.

"Back home I'm referred to as middle-class Joe � in Washington that means I am not sophisticated.

"When the middle class does well, everybody does well. The wealthy do very well when we do well. The poor have a way up when we do well."

Biden's will be the first visit of a Vice President since Spiro Agnew visited in 1970.

The last US President to visit was Bill Clinton in 1999 but that was essentially to attend the Apec leaders' summit. The only other presidential visit was by Lyndon Johnson in 1966 to

- Additional reporting Isaac Davison

- NZ Herald

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